Wigan Warriors' Jake Shorrocks finally on ‘good side’ of injury nightmare
?Jake Shorrocks is grateful for the chance to put on the Wigan shirt again, and hopes to push on following his impressive return to the side.
The 23-year-old has had a tough few years, after tearing his ACL and a loan move to Salford that didn’t work out as well as he would have hoped.Shorrocks came off the bench for the last 25 minutes of the game against Warrington Wolves – his first Wigan appearance in more than two years – and immediately made an impact, when his cleverly crafted kick found Tom Davies who went in to score.The half-back relished the opportunity to be back playing for Wigan. He said: “Being a Wigan lad, it’s what we want to do. I’ve been eager to play for a long time now and I’m pushing hard in training trying to impress John and Lammy, thankfully they’ve given me a shot.“Hopefully I’ve done enough in that game and in training to prove to Lammy that I’m good enough and hopefully I can put on the shirt again this week.”His breakthrough season came in 2016 when he featured 12 times and narrowly missed out on a place in the Grand Final side. “I didn’t play in the Grand Final because Sean O’Loughlin came back from a miraculous calf injury, so I missed out,” he joked.In 2017 Shorrocks played one first-team game but suffered a serious blow when he tore his ACL. He then went on loan to Salford Red Devils for the 2018 season and made 11 appearances, but didn’t make the impact he would have hoped to.Shorrocks is looking to put those tough few years behind him and tries to take the positives from the situation. He said: “The injury was a chance for me to work on my upper body strength because I wasn’t where I needed to be in that department and that’s allowed me to essentially play hooker.“Previously, I don’t think I would’ve been able to do that. I was lighter then, and I’ve been able to put on a bit of weight. “You’ve got to look at the positives because it can really beat you up, especially being in the gym on your own, it’s not a nice place.“Ever since I tore my ACL I’ve been on a climb, a journey as such to try and get back to where I am now. “I’ve been training and playing better now than what I did do in the previous 18 months.”The injury wasn’t the first setback Shorrocks has had in his career. He tore his ACL on the same knee while playing for the Under-19s. He believes family and teammates are important to helping you get through. “You don’t know if you’re going to get back in the side but I think all the boys and all my family helped me keep positive and get through the injury mentally,” he said.“I’m on the good side of it now.” Wigan travel to Salford on Sunday, who are currently six points better off than the Warriors. Shorrocks reflected on his time there: “I’m grateful for Salford, for the chance to play at Super League level. I learned a lot from the likes of Ian Watson and Martin Gleeson, they’re really smart coaches.“Also, to play with Rob Lui who has played in the NRL, I learned a lot at my time at Salford and I’m thankful for it.”Salford are fourth in the table, and Shorrocks believes it will be a tough test. He said: “They’re playing some really good rugby. That win against Catalan was a really good win for them and they’ve played some really expansive rugby.“They’re throwing the ball about. We’ve got to make sure we’re switched on mentally. We’ve got to pick ourselves up because we’ve got no choice but to get the win.”