Wigan Warriors have forward power for title drive says Patrick Mago

Wigan Warriors signing Patrick Mago is aiming for a Grand Final appearance in his first season in Super League and is confident his new club has the forward power to deliver it.

They reached the showpiece the season before last, but 2021 was a disappointing year in which the Warriors struggled to match the leading sides, resulting in the replacement of Adrian Lam as head coach by Matt Peet.

Mago is one of six new additions to the playing squad, joining from South Sydney Rabbitohs, after having also played for North Queensland Cowboys and Brisbane Broncos in the NRL.

The 27-year-old New Zealander will bring around 18 stones to the front row and says his focus will be simple: “I’ll always run hard and put my best foot forward.”

But Mago believes he will complement an already strong pack, which has also been added to with another NRL prop, Kaide Ellis.

“There’s a strong forward pack here,” he told League Express.

“Brad Singleton has played Super League for a long time and you know what he offers.

“People like John Bateman, Liam Farrell, Willie Isa provide experience and Kaide Ellis coming in is excited to do what he can do and there are other forwards like Ollie (Partington).

“We can really do something this year. It’s exciting times for us and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Not that Mago sees his place in the squad as guaranteed, especially as the newest face in the group, having only arrived in England last month.

“I still think I’ve just started,” he said.

“With the players not in the starting team you can tell the talent we’ve got throughout the whole squad.

“Everybody’s going to be on their toes and a lot of boys are pushing for spots.

“They’ll keep me on my toes and I’ll keep them on theirs. It’s healthy competition.

“There will be a lot of hard work ahead this year; all the boys knows what they need to do and will be working their hats off to get into that team.”

As for what success would entail this year, Mago is clear.

“We have the mentality to be in the Grand Final and that’s what everybody is playing for,” he said.

“It’s what we’re aiming for. It’s pre-season right now, so we’re doing everything we can do to get our bodies ready for it.”

For now, Mago is happy to be settling well at his new home, living on the outskirts of Wigan in Orrell.

As well as the usual gripes about the English weather, he also admits he’ll need to get used to the local accent.

“All the boys have been good, but with the strong accent I can’t really understand them!

“I hear some of the boys from Australia and they’ve got a bit of the accent; I keep telling them that they’ve got it. It’s a good laugh.”

The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.