Wigan fans will see a familiar face return in 2017 when Joe Burgess takes his place in the Wigan backline.
Burgess, 22, re-signed for the Cherry and Whites earlier this year after one season in the NRL.
A product of the Ince Rose Bridge Club, he made his first team debut for the Cherry and Whites in August 2013 in a 21-16 win over Hull KR and would go on to make one further appearance that year.
2014 was the year Burgess really made his breakthrough into the Wigan team, four tries in a warm-up game against New Zealand Warriors saw him claim a place in the side for the World Club Challenge against Sydney Roosters. Burgess would go on to score in that game, in only his fourth start for the Wigan first team.
A string of impressive performances saw him cross the line 25 times in 27 appearances during 2014 including Wigan’s only try in the 2014 Grand Final.
His gliding style saw comparisons made with Hall of Famer Martin Offiah and Burgess was handed the number five shirt ahead of his second full season with the Club.
His fine form had not gone unnoticed Down Under and NRL teams were soon knocking on the door. At the start of the 2015 season Burgess confirmed that he would be leaving Wigan to join Sydney Roosters for 2016.
The flying winger did all he could to go out on a high with another impressive haul of 26 tries in 29 games which saw him establish himself as Wigan’s leading winger despite strong opposition from Dom Manfredi and Josh Charnley.
He would score the first try of the 2015 Grand Final but ultimately it wasn’t enough as Wigan went down to a narrow two-point defeat to Leeds. Burgess however left his first stint at Wigan having bagged an impressive 52 tries in 58 games.
Burgess’ fine form saw him named in the Super League Dream team and capped for England in the end of season Tests against France and New Zealand.
His time in the NRL didn’t quite start as planned, limited to just four appearances (two tries) in the first half of the season at the Roosters, Burgess confirmed his Wigan return in June signing a three-year deal with the Club.
At the same time, he signed a loan deal to see out his remaining time in the NRL with former Wigan Coach Michael Maguire at South Sydney Rabbitohs. Burgess soon hit his straps winning plaudits as he crossed for five tries in nine games to finish his time in the NRL on a high.
Yet to win a major trophy, Burgess returns in 2017 with some unfinished business!
You can see Joe Burgess back at the DW Stadium in 2017 with Season Tickets on sale now, full details available HERE.