Wigan Warriors coach Matt Peet has paid tribute to his former player Ollie Partington ahead of this weekend’s meeting with Salford Red Devils.
Partington came through the Wigan academy whilst Peet oversaw the youth system before the pair worked together in the first team.
England Knights international Partington then left his hometown club at the end of last season to take up a two-year deal with Salford.
And Sunday afternoon, Partington will come up against his former club Wigan for the first time in a competitive environment since his off-season switch.
The 24-year-old has impressed in the ball-playing loose forward role with the Red Devils, making 12 appearances so far.
Peet says he and the rest of the Warriors are ‘proud’ of their academy product Partington, who made 92 first team appearances during his time with his hometown club.
“Very proud of Oliver,” Peet said when asked about Partington ahead of Sunday’s match.
“We never really had any doubt that he would go there and excel.
“He is someone we’re really proud of and admire. I’m not at all surprised (about his impressive performances). I think he’s an outstanding player.”
Partington, who has won international honours with England Knights, has become a focal point of Salford’s attack and defence this season.
“He’s been awesome,” Salford assistant coach Krisnan Inu said. “He’s been a great addition to the team.
“I was a fan of him when he was at Wigan, he is one of those players that you don’t want to play against so to have him part of our squad is good.
“He’s taken his role on with both hands and hit the ground running. He is a great leader and a great example to the boys around him.”
Wigan Warriors boss on Salford Red Devils ‘super intelligent’ spine
Peet says his side will have to be at their best defensively to nullify Salford’s attacking shape on Sunday if they are to come away with the spoils.
He said: “I think their Super League form is excellent, I really admire the way they play the game.
“They challenge you on every play and our players consistently come out this game telling us it is one of the most challenging games physically because there is so much ball movement.
“I like the way Paul (Rowley) shapes his teams up. He asks a lot of questions, they don’t conform to what other teams do, they play to their own strengths.
“I think they’ve got the players to do that with the strike they have on the edges and the spine is super intelligent as well.
“Ryan Brierley is probably one of the form full-backs in the competition and the way he links up with (Brodie) Croft and (Marc) Sneyd is super intelligent, super skilful and they are very clinical. We’ll have to be at our best defensively on our edges to nullify that threat.”
Salford welcome Wigan to the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday afternoon, 3pm kick-off.