Wigan Warriors boss Matt Peet makes full-back call in absence of Jai Field

Ben Olawumi
Matt Peet, Harry Smith, Ryan Hampshire, Jai Field

Matt Peet has chosen his full-back for Wigan Warriors' Challenge Cup clash with Sheffield Eagles

Wigan Warriors boss Matt Peet has confirmed that Ryan Hampshire will slot in at full-back in their Challenge Cup tie against Sheffield Eagles on Friday night, replacing Jai Field who misses out with a ‘slight knock’.

This will be a second appearance of the season for Hampshire, who played just three senior games in the entirety of the 2023 campaign, having featured in the Warriors’ Super League win at London Broncos earlier this month.

Against the Broncos, the 29-year old started in the halves, but the Cherry & Whites will utilise his versatility and he will slot in at #1 as they face the Eagles at the DW Stadium.

Wigan Warriors boss Matt Peet makes full-back call in absence of Jai Field

Wigan have made just one change to their 21-man squad from last week’s win at Salford Red Devils, with Field dropping out and Kruise Leeming named, set to make his own return from injury.

Explaining Field‘s absence, Warriors chief Peet simply labelled the issue a ‘minor knock’, with nothing serious indicated.

And speaking to Love Rugby League in his pre-match press conference, Peet praised ready-made replacement Hampshire, as he said: “He’s been good for us and he’s highly respected. I speak about him quite often in the press.

“Our spine’s playing really well, and has been doing for a while now, but in Rocky we have a really good deputy who puts pressure on them as well.

“He certainly tests our defence when he’s playing against them in practice, so whenever we get the opportunity to give him an opportunity, we look forward to it.”

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Peet lauds deputy Ryan Hampshire: ‘He’s applied himself really well so far’

A product of the club’s academy, Hampshire re-joined Wigan ahead of the 2023 season on a one-year deal and was given a new contract in the off-season just gone, again running the duration of the current campaign.

Peet continued: “It requires a unique approach and a unique skillset. He has to get that balance right between being frustrated and almost being content some weeks to practice well, perform well and just be ready whenever the chance presents itself.

“I’d like to think that we were very clear with him about the role when the contract was offered. We know that he had interest elsewhere, which doesn’t surprise us.

“I think that’s where we’ve done a decent job with Rocky – he knew what he was signing up to and he’s applied himself really well so far.”

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