Following his Super League Dream Team inclusion, Wigan Warriors ace Jake Wardle admits to his best season to date and playing with confidence under head coach Matt Peet.
The 24-year-old finished the regular campaign as the highest-scoring centre throughout the whole competition with nobody able to match his 15 tries.
He has missed just one game all season with 26 appearances, and enjoyed his first taste of silverware as Wigan claimed the League Leaders’ Shield, ultimately securing a home semi-final spot next week.
Wardle was named in the 2023 Super League Dream Team for the first time alongside Hull KR’s Shaun Kenny-Dowall in the centres, and admits to loving life as a Warrior.
“It means a lot to me,” Wardle told Love Rugby League on his Dream Team inclusion.
“It wasn’t something I focussed on at the start of the season, obviously coming to a new club I just wanted to play as well as I could and as consistently as I could. For other people to recognise that, it means a lot to me.
“I think it’s been the best one [season] at the minute. It’s been a big change for me and it’s one I am loving and I want to keep improving and hopefully each season just gets better for me.
“The club has had a lot of success and I wanted to be involved in as much silverware as I can and also develop my personal game which I think I’ve been doing.”
Jake Wardle dedicates form to ‘change of environment’
Wardle dedicated his best form to the coaches at Wigan, with club legends Sean O’Loughlin and Thomas Leuluai working as assistant coaches under boss Peet.
“A lot of it is a change of environment, I’ve got coaches who believe in me a lot and with that comes confidence,” he admitted.
“I’d like to think I am playing with a bit of confidence and there’s obviously a few tactical things that they’ve pointed out to me that I could improve on, so I’ve taken their advice and it’s going well.”
The Warriors earned a bye in the first week of the play-offs and will wait to see who they face next Saturday, October 7, in the semi-finals as Hull KR host Leigh and St Helens face Warrington.
Wardle continued: “We’ve got to make sure we rest as well as we can, we’re at that time in the season where people are carrying niggles. I think the week off playing will do us well.
“We’ve got the week off and that’s an opportunity we’ve got to use right and fine tune both attack and defence and hopefully be firing in the semi-final.”