The back-rower returns to St Helens for the first time since leaving for NRL side Gold Coast Titans and coming back to Super League on the other side of its biggest divide.
And coach Shaun Wane has admitted we are now starting to see why the Warriors brought him back from Australia, but believes he still has some learning to do.
He said: “He’s showing why we brought him back but at the minute he’s a seven out of 10. He’s got loads of potential.
“But he doesn’t hit like a Wigan player yet but we’re working on that. We might see the best of that next year, he’s a work in progress.
“We have a special technique here. We’re not the biggest team but when we play well, our technique is bang on.
“He’s got everything else, though. He also needs to vary the way he carries the ball, we’ve worked and worked on that in the past few weeks.”
While Wigan are adamant winning the League Leaders’ Shield is not the be all and end all, Justin Holbrook’s St Helens can clinch that honour and the £100,000 prize it carries with a win.
But for Jon Wilkin it means the final St Helens-Wigan derby after 16 years, unless they meet in the Grand Final and the 33-year-old, a target for Toronto Wolfpack, believes denying Saints the Shield is all the motivation Wigan need.
He said, as reports linking full-back Ben Barba with a move to NRL side North Queensland Cowboys emerged: “In addition, they are determined to secure second spot in the league to get a home game in the Play-offs. If they lose this week and results go against them elsewhere, the fight for second place will really be on again.”