Jake Shorrocks aiming to break into Wigan’s first-team in 2019 after impressing Adrian Lam

Promising half-back Jake Shorrocks revealed he wants to nail down a regular spot in Wigan’s first-team after a couple of seasons on the fringes.

The 23-year-old was once dubbed as ‘the next big thing’ in English rugby league but he has been unlucky with injuries in recent years, having suffered two long-term injuries just as he was starting to make an impression in Wigan’s first-team.

Shorrocks, who made 11 appearances for Salford Red Devils on loan last season, is hoping to regain the form which saw him nearly make a Grand Final appearance in 2016.

“I need to get as many games in as possible and I’m looking to try and break into the Wigan first-team this year,” Shorrocks told loverugbyleague.com.

“Playing at Salford did me good last year. It was the right decision for me to spend some time on loan there and I’m thankful to Salford for giving me the chance to get some more experience in Super League. I learned a lot of things while I was there.

“Not having reserves is a blow for lads who are on the edge of the first-team but that’s not really my goal this year because I want to be playing first-team rugby for Wigan.

“I feel I am better than just a reserve player and I need to be playing at the highest level possible.

“I’m fully recovered from my injuries now and have had a full pre-season. If I can get an injury-free year in and find some form, then I feel like I’m good enough and can push for a place in the team.”

An impeccable goal-kicker and a former England Academy international, Shorrocks has played 14 games in Wigan’s first-team since making his debut back in 2016.

He has been named in Wigan’s 19-man squad to face rivals Warrington Wolves on Friday, and coach Adrian Lam has been impressed by Shorrocks during his time at the club so far.

“Jake has been outstanding in pre-season,” Lam said.

“He’s been one of the highlights. He’s certainly an option [to play against Warrington].

“The sad thing about rugby league in this country at the moment is there’s no reserve-grade competition so he hasn’t played any games.”

George Williams needs a new half-back partner as Tommy Leuluai is set to move to hooker in the absence of the injured Sam Powell.

Off-season recruit Jarrod Sammut and Shorrocks have both been brought into Lam’s side for their trip to the Wolves.