Why Joe Burgess will give Wigan Warriors an extra attacking option

Joe Burgess with George Williams
Joe Burgess with George Williams

Joe Burgess has been tipped to give Wigan a fresh attacking option when he returns to action on Sunday.

The towering winger will end an 11-month absence from a knee injury when he faces Salford.

And Adrian Lam says they plan to utilise his size, not only with his metre-eating carries but with attacking kicks to his side.

“Joe looks pretty sharp,” said Lam. “He’s a bigger body to bring the ball back from yardage and in the air, it’s another option for us.

“Any time you get a 105kg winger, who is 6ft 5in or whatever he is, it’s exciting.”

Centre partner Oliver Gildart is excited about reunited with his former school pal on the left edge.

“It’s a massive plus for us, getting Budge back,” he said. “His all-round game we’ve missed. He gives us more out of exit, and kicking-wise, too – we’ve got some diddy wingers!

“George (Williams) has a brilliant short kicking game but with Budge there, it gives us more of an aerial option, too.”

Wigan centre Gildart believes the Warriors’ form will “all turn around” following their fourth straight defeat in the Super League.

The 22-year-old insists there are positive signs to be taken from their 25-12 defeat to Warrington Wolves on Thursday.

He said: “We had a dig, we brought some aggressiveness and we’ve lacked that. And that has to be the benchmark.

“It was a loss but we could have won the game and I’m positive about that. It’s something we can build on because we’re way off where we want to be.

“It’s not like we’ve been getting hammered, we’ve had some bad decisions, and we’re doing it hard – but it will all turn around, that’s something I’ve learned over the years.”

Gildart has been moved back to the left-hand side of the Wigan line and hopes his chemistry with Williams can help spark some creativity.

“I’m more comfortable there and I have a good combination with George,” he said. “We want to get our hands on the ball and show what we can do.”