Wigan Warriors youngster Jack Wells is looking to push England back-row pair Liam Farrell and John Bateman for a spot in Shaun Wane’s side this season.
The 19-year-old made his first-team debut against Wakefield Trinity last term and went on to make two more appearances for the Cherry and Whites.
Wells shifted in and out of Matty Peet’s Under 19s side when called up to senior duty and he even featured in Wigan’s 22-20 defeat against local rivals St Helens in the 2016 Under 19s Grand Final.
The back-rower has admitted that he is working hard to cement his place in Shaun Wane’s 17-man squad in 2017.
“I do want to cement down a place in the first-team squad but it will be difficult with international players like Liam Farrell and John Bateman in front of me,” said Wells.
“It depends if whether Waney [Shaun Wane] is impressed by how well I train or not. Hopefully he gives me a shot if I train hard because that is just what I did last year.
“I knuckled down and worked hard with the Under 19s then he asked me to go to a couple of first-team sessions and I trained with them and he liked what he saw and he signed me and handed me my debut.
“Last year was great. Despite the result, I really enjoyed making my debut against Wakefield [Trinity] and I still embraced the occasion and loved every minute of playing my first game for Wigan.”
Wells is still young enough to play in the Under 19s Academy League for one more season and is likely to represent the Warriors Reserves again this campaign.
The England Academy international wants to get first-team games under his belt and is open to the idea of spending time on loan at another club, whether that be in the Championship or League One.
He added: “Going out on loan may do me good and it could give me some of that first-team experience that I need.
“The Championship is full of big bodies and it is the same with Super League. I need the experience to put me out there but it still ticks me over even if I am playing for the Under 19s and I will be happy to follow whatever my coaches suggest.”
The former Folly Lane junior is in the course of his first pre-season in the senior ranks with the Wigan Club.
Wells shared a motorhome with Micky McIlorum, Willie Isa and Josh Ganson as part of their pre-season camp as they travelled around Wales via Sale.
“It has been tough. We went on the four day pre-season camp in separate groups and each group had a caravan and we went around Wales so it was intense but at the same time it was fun.
“It is a lot different compared to the Under 19s pre-season but it has been a good one and now we are looking forward to playing some friendlies.”