Jai Field like a new signing for Wigan says head coach

Josh McAllister
Jai Field

Photo courtesy of John Baldwin

Utility player Jai Field will feel like a new signing for Wigan Warriors fans this season. 

The 24-year-old only managed four appearances for his new club in 2021 due to injuries. 

He made his debut in round one against Leigh, but it was cut short after he suffered a hamstring injury in the first half.

Field later returned to action in August but suffered a further injury a few games later to his groin.

Now, as his side prepare for their opening game of 2022 against Hull KR, Field has impressed during pre-season.

He scored twice in the club’s victory over Warrington, featuring at full-back. The performance was much to the delight of head coach Matt Peet, who revealed the utility player stayed in the UK during the off-season to work on his injuries.

Matt Peet delighted for Jai Field and his return in pre-season

“I was really pleased for him because he turned his back on a trip home to see his family,” Peet said. 

“He’s got no family in the country. He spent Christmas over in the UK. He didn’t go home at the end of the season, which after 12 months here not playing with his hamstring I thought showed real determination from him. 

“And hopefully he’ll get his reward. We’ve seen again, some positive signs that he’s building combinations with the team. 

“He’s fit and healthy and we’ll look to build on that. 

“He is an exciting player and is the kind of player that people will pay to watch. He brings a lot to us in terms of attacking threat. I was pleased for him. 

“If we can keep him, like all the rest of the team, fit and well, then the fans will have something to look forward to.”

Jai Field to show full potential

Ahead of his move to Super League, Field made 17 appearances in the NRL. He made his debut for St. George Illawarra before joining Parramatta Eels in 2020.

With a year left of his contract, Peet is hoping that this he can show his full potential in 2022.

“He’s yet to transfer it (his skill) into Super League,” said Peet. “But on a daily basis, seeing what he’s bringing, I’m just happy for him.

“Obviously it’s good for the club. It’s good for us as coaches but I’m genuinely pleased for Jai because he had a really difficult year which when you’re at the other side of the world from your family, during COVID as well, and then you don’t get to go home for as long as you’d like because you want to work out with your team.

“I think when you see someone sacrifice and commit themselves and then it starts to pay off. Like I say, we haven’t started the season yet but you see signs of it you get excited for it.”

If fans will see his full potential in 2022, Peet replied: “I’d say it’s hope. What I can say is he’s given himself the best possible chance.

“Sport can be cruel at times, there’s no guarantee that because you’ve done the work, you’ll get what you deserve. Think now whatever happens, he’ll know that he’s give it his all.”

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