Wigan Warriors boss Matt Peet insists that Junior Nsemba is close to returning to first team action after being named as 18th man against Warrington, Salford and Huddersfield in recent weeks.
Nsemba, who recently turned 19 in June, made his debut last year against Hull KR in the back-row and has further impressed in 2023.
He has made five appearances so far this season, including his first try in the 18-14 win over Leeds in the Challenge Cup sixth round tie at Headingley Stadium.
The Wigan academy product was given his first chance of the year in Super League against Wakefield in April, and has gone on to feature against Hull, Hull KR and most recently Catalans at the start of June.
Nsemba has been named as 18th man in recent weeks in Super League against the Red Devils and Ian Watson’s Huddersfield respectively, while featuring for the club’s reserves side.
Wigan next take on Mark Applegarth’s Wakefield this Friday, with a Peet teasing a potential return for the rising prospect.
Junior Nsemba ‘doing everything right’
“He’s doing everything right,” Peet told Love Rugby League.
“I can’t wait to put him in. He’ll potentially get a chance on Friday against Wakefield.”
The Warriors picked up a 22-6 win over the Giants on Friday night to jump to third on the Super League table below table toppers Catalans and Adrian Lam’s Leigh.
Wigan next travel to Belle Vue in Super League Round 18, with Wakefield having claimed their second win of the season last week with a 32-6 score over Paul Rowley’s Salford at home.
It reduces the gap to just four points between Trinity and Andy Last’s Castleford in the battle of Super League survival.
“That will be another challenge,” Peet said, previewing the fixture.
“They’ve got a bit of momentum now and picking up wins.
“I think all year everyone has seen that they’re playing with plenty of determination and obviously they’re going to build in confidence on the back of Friday.
“Each week brings its own types of challenge.
“We are building momentum. It’s about building it again this week in a different kind of challenge.
“We’ve got to concentrate on having a good week and preparing well.”