Why George Burgess will sharpen up Wigan Warriors' attack

George Burgess in pre-season training
George Burgess in pre-season training

George Burgess’ arrival will have a huge impact on helping Wigan sharpen up their overall attack.

That is the prediction of halfback Jake Shorrocks, who has underlined just how influential ex-Souths prop Burgess – and fellow recruit Mitch Clark, another physical presence – will have on Warriors in 2020.

Their arrival, and the return to fitness of Joe Bullock, means Adrian Lam’s outfit should start the season with a bigger pack capable of punching holes in opposition defences.

And Shorrocks underlined the influence they will have on the rest of the side. He says dummy-half runners, halfbacks and outside backs will be excited about the prospect of attacking against retreating defences.

“All halfbacks want a quicker ruck and you definitely want to be playing off the back of players like George Burgess, he’s a big handful carrying the ball,” said the 24-year-old, who is targeting a regular role next season.

“It’s definitely going to help out attack and our running game because when you’ve got a quicker ruck, the halves just want to run.

“That’s when they’re most dangerous.

“Some people, if they don’t see all sides of the game, maybe don’t understand how hard it is when the opposition team has a big pack. So St Helens, for example, when Alex Walmsley and Luke Thompson are running the ball back at you and getting a play-the-ball in three seconds, it’s a lot harder to control players like Jonny Lomax off the back of that – he looks like he’s got a lot of time and that’s because he’s got a lot of quick rucks.

“So hopefully having George and Mitch will help us massively in that area. Mitch ripped us apart when he played against us for Castleford.”

Winger Liam Marshall is another who is expecting their arrival to have a big influence.

“George is a giant of a bloke,” he said.

“I think if we can get him steaming on to the ball, he’s going to be hard to handle and I think it will help people like me and everyone in the team with his quick play of the ball.

“If you’re playing off the back of that it’s always easier than trying to attack against a defence that’s set and ready to go.”