Wigan prop Tony Clubb has tipped young forward Harry Rushton as a player to watch out for in the future.
Rushton has been one of the standouts for the Warriors’ under-18s so far this season and was rewarded with the no.37 squad number and a call-up to the senior 21-man squad ahead of their game against Salford last month.
Clubb, who has been coaching the academy side, says he wouldn’t be surprised if the 18-year-old was called upon again by Adrian Lam.
“I’ve done a few bits with Harry, so to see him get picked (in the squad against Salford) was quite nice for me personally,” he told Wigan’s media team. “He’s a very switched on kid and he knows what he wants.
“He’s a Wigan lad who wants to play for Wigan. When you watch people train you can’t gage on how good they are but against Leeds (academy a few weeks ago) there was no one better on the field.
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“He’s a big physical boy and he blew them off the field so I couldn’t praise him enough. I can see him playing this year if he’s called upon.”
Clubb’s work with the under-18s comes as he begins to prepare for retirement.
The 32-year-old is into his seventh season in Lancashire after signing from London Broncos in 2014 and is keen to pursue a career in coaching on a full-time basis once his playing days come to an end.
“I did my coaching badges before I came to Wigan and it was always something I was interested in,” he continued. “I did level one, two and three.
“I asked if it was okay to go down to watch the Under-18s and share some knowledge. (Academy coach) Shane Eccles has been really good, I’ve taken a focus on the defensive side of things.
“I’m trying to balance rugby and coaching. I’m going in to train at 8am and by the time I’ve finished with the Under-18s it’s 7pm at night, so they’re long days but I enjoy it.”
“I shout a lot during training, a bit too much. It’s how I like to train but I know I need to tone it down. It was hard at first because you speak to them as first teamers, but you have to realise some of them are very young still, so you need to man-manage a bit more.
“The younger lads want to learn and want to get better. I want to pass on my 15-years of experience to these lads, who will hopefully make their debut in the next year or two.
“It’s good to share and pass on what I’ve learnt, I just give them little tips of how to be better, I’m trying to make them the best they can be. It’s nothing they don’t know, it’s just tiny adjustments to their wrestling and tackling. and then they soak that up, go out and do it and it’s rewarding to see that.”