Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane has called on England international George Williams to become a “more complete player” in 2017.
Williams played a crucial role in Wigan’s title-winning campaign last season, before earning a call-up to the England squad for the Four Nations during the autumn.
However, Wane told reporters at the club’s media day earlier this week that he wants the 22-year-old to be able to control games much more in 2017 and beyond.
Wane said: “I’m expecting him to blossom more, I want him to become a more complete player this season.
“He needs to control games because we have certain requirements from our halves, we want them to dictate what goes on out there.
“Tommy Leuluai is at the back end of his career and he’s just got it, so it’s a lot of information I’m trying to give George and Jake (Shorrocks) to speed them along a bit.”
Wane and Wigan battled their way to Grand Final glory last year despite a plethora of serious injuries to key first-team players, forcing Wane to blood the likes of Oliver Gildart and Sam Powell for extended periods – as well as handing debuts to youngsters like Jake Shorrocks throughout the course of the season.
He admits that last year’s injury issues have consciously forced him to go with a bigger squad than in 2016 – and he has promised that all of the youngsters he has promoted into the first-team foray – including Josh Ganson, son of former Super League referee Steve – will get their chance to impress at some point.
“It’s a bigger squad than ever before and with us not having the internationals for a while it’s given me the chance to get some work into our young kids and make sure kids like Josh Ganson will be ready when they play – because they will do this year,” he said.
“It’s been a really good pre-season so far. Liam Marshall excites me, he’s impressed me a lot, and Josh Ganson has too. This is the best I’ve felt in pre-season to be honest; I feel really good and positive about everybody and all of the kids look good – as a Wiganer and a Wigan coach, that excites me.”