Morgan Smithies says he is aiming to push for starting spot within the Wigan camp in the 2021 Super League season.
The 20-year-old forward made his debut during the 2019 campaign against Catalans at the DW Stadium, and has gone on to make a big impact under Adrian Lam, who quickly tied the Halifax-born player down to a four-year deal the same year.
In 2020, Smithies made 16 appearances in total and helped Wigan lift their first League Leaders’ Shield since 2012.
But the youngster hasn’t taken his place within the squad for granted, and wants to continue pushing himself.
He said: “I think that’s where I want to get to (earning a starting spot). I want to be starting hopefully. I just need to be playing consistent rugby week-in-week-out and I need to start the season well.
“I learned a lot in my first year definitely, I had just came up from the Under-19s and made my debut and ever since then I stayed in the first team luckily enough.
“I learned a lot last year as well in terms of getting banned and being aggressive but also being disciplined at the same time so I think I’m definitely still improving as a player and there’s a lot more I can work on in my game.”
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His impressive debut year saw Smithies nominated for the Super League Young Player of the Year Award as well as winning the club’s Young Player of the Year Award.
And one player he is looking forward to playing alongside is Bateman, who returned to the club in the off-season on a four-year deal.
Smithies added: “Yeah it’s good. Coming through the club’s system, the likes of me, Ethan Havard and Ollie Partington, we look up to the likes of John Bateman so it’s good to have him back on board.”