Kai Pearce-Paul was delighted with how he performed in his breakthrough season at Wigan, but the towering forward is only just getting started.
The 20-year-old came through the ranks at London Broncos before moving to Wigan at the end of the 2019 season. Pearce-Paul made his Super League debut in a clash with rivals St Helens in 2020.
But it was in 2021 when Pearce-Paul really made his mark in Super League. The Bromley-born forward made 19 appearances in the top-flight.
He told Love Rugby League: “I was delighted with the way last season went. I got my opportunity through injuries and the main thing for me was that I managed to stay in the squad.
“I had a lot of positive feedback from my coaches and they believed I was going well. It was nice to be involved in the main squad, it is what I’ve been building towards since being a young kid. It was very good for me and my mentality now is that the job is not done.
“I’ve got some experience from last season and this season I want to build on that. I want to become better and I only want to go up from here.”
Pearce-Paul has been likened to dual-code legend Sonny Bill Williams due to his offload game by his older brother Kameron, who plays for League 1 side London Skolars.
The 6ft 4in back-rower says he has always been a keen offloader and is pleased that Wigan encourage him to do it.
He added: “It feels quite natural to me. I’ve always liked throwing the ball around and I’ve always offloaded from being a young kid.
“I get called ‘long levers’ all the time, so I guess its paid off there! I’ve always liked keeping the ball alive and that’s my style of rugby. Being able to practice that in the first team and against the best players in the league is beneficial to me and the team as well.
“When I signed for Wigan, they liked my offloads and that I could keep the ball alive and I’m glad they kept on encouraging me to do it.”
Pearce-Paul’s impressive performances for Wigan last season earned him a call-up to the England Knights squad. He helped the Knights demolish Jamaica 56-4 at Castleford in an end-of-season test.
He said: “It felt like a reward after a tough season. Being able to represent your country at the end of the season was a nice reward for me. It was a big honour for me to play in that game and get the win.”