Matt Peet’s plan for Wigan Warriors loose-forward role after Morgan Smithies’ departure

MATT PEET is keen to see Kaide Ellis in the loose-forward role for Wigan next season after the Aussie was awarded their number 13 shirt for 2024.

The Warriors have no specialist senior loose-forward in their squad after allowing England international Morgan Smithies to join NRL side Canberra Raiders.

But head coach Peet believes that Ellis, who has played largely at prop in his two seasons in Super League to date, has the skills to take on the new role.

“We’ve seen glimpses of his ball-playing but he’s probably had to rein it in a little because he was playing in the front row and Morgan was doing most of that for us,” said Peet.

“It will free Kaide to show what he can do with the ball more, and we’ll encourage some of our other players in the middle to ball-play as well. 

“We won’t be playing a different style because Morgan’s not there. We’ll be demanding our players to show what they can do with the ball.”

Of Wigan’s six new signings, only Adam Keighran has been given a starting squad number, taking number three from Toby King after the loanee returned to parent club Warrington.

Luke Thompson has been given number 16, Kruise Leeming is 17, Sam Walters takes 22, Tiaki Chan will wear 24, and Sam Eseh is 25.

Abbas Miski, Ethan Havard and Brad O’Neill have been promoted to numbers two, eight and nine respectively after becoming regular starters.

Wigan 2024 squad numbers: 1 Jai Field, 2 Abbas Miski, 3 Adam Keighran, 4 Jake Wardle, 5 Liam Marshall, 6 Bevan French, 7 Harry Smith, 8 Ethan Havard, 9 Brad O’Neill, 10 Liam Byrne, 11 Willie Isa, 12 Liam Farrell, 13 Kaide Ellis, 14 Mike Cooper, 15 Patrick Mago, 16 Luke Thompson, 17 Kruise Leeming, 19 Tyler Dupree, 20 Harvie Hill, 21 Junior Nsemba, 22 Sam Walters, 23 Ryan Hampshire, 24 Tiaki Chan, 25 Sam Eseh, 26 Zach Eckersley, 27 Tom Forber, 28 Jacob Douglas, 29 Harvey Makin, 30 Jack Farrimond.