Wigan Warriors coach Matt Peet has confirmed that star signing Tyler Dupree will make his debut against Leigh Leopards.
England enforcer Dupree has linked up with the Warriors on a four-year deal from Salford Red Devils in a move that sees experienced prop Brad Singleton go the other way.
Dupree, who will wear the number 34 shirt for Wigan this season, will pull on the Cherry and White jersey for the first time in Saturday’s derby with Leigh in front of the Channel 4 cameras.
“He’ll feature, whether he’ll start or not I’m not sure, but he’ll feature,” Peet said.
“He’s exactly what we’ve been looking for in terms of his skill set, his age, British, I’m made up that Kris (Radlinski, chief executive) and Ian (Lenagan, owner) could get the deal done with Salford.
“He’s hit the ground running in practice, so he seems a good kid.
“Everyone we speak to who have worked with him in the past speak really highly of him, so there’s a lot to like about that – not just for the short-term but the medium-term as well.”
Wigan Warriors boss full of praise for Tyler Dupree and his journey to the top: ‘Desire and commitment’
Dupree has previously spoken about how he was ready to walk away from the game to go into the Army after being released by Leeds Rhinos as a youngster.
But he decided to stick at it, with impressive spells in the Championship for Oldham and Widnes Viking seeing him earn a full-time opportunity in Super League with Salford, with the 23-year-old making his international debut for England earlier this year.
Peet said: “He’s obviously had a good pathway, came through a good system at Leeds, earned his stripes in the Championship which is always a good period for a young player to have and the way Salford have recruited him and the development they’ve done with him there is credit to them. Like most players, he’s gone to Salford and improved and he caught our eye right from the start.
“I think his background and his journey is a plus at the side of his name I believe. The fact that he’s had to work his way back – he’s not had it straight forward – a bit of a rocky road for him and it certainly shows his desire and commitment.
“For a young player to standout the way he did in the Championship and catch everyones eye and since he has gone to Salford his game has gone from strength to strength which is credit to Salford for backing him and Paul’s (Rowley) coaching.
“Tyler was a standout player in the academy as well at Leeds, so he’s someone I’ve coached against in the academy pathways and he was always a handful then but I do like the fact he’s had to go away and prove himself again.”
Wigan welcome neighbours Leigh to the DW Stadium on Saturday, 1pm kick-off, live on Channel 4.