PAUL Prescott could not be at a better a place to learn his trade.
The young Wigan prop has just signed a new two-year deal with an option to stay at his hometown club until the end of 2011.
And with fellow front rowers Stuart Fielden, Iafeta Paleaaesina and Andy Coley at the JJB, Prescott admits he is benefiting from working alongside some of the best in the business.
But the former Academy player is adamant he will not be overawed by his more illustrious team-mates - and believes the competition for places can help drive the Warriors towards silverware this season.
"They are really good professionals and have all been around for a long time," said the 22-year-old, who is nearing full fitness after a knee injury has seen him sidelined for the last month.
"They really help the young lads out like Eamon O'Carroll and me and they teach us a lot, but we still want to get into the team ourselves and make a good impression.
"The competition for places has a positive affect on all the front rowers because you have to be play well to play.
"Once we've got a full-strength team and everyone is back fit, it's going to be difficult to get in and that can only be good for the side.
"But I've got a lot of ambition and it's up to me to play well and better than those people around me."
After three straight victories, second-placed Wigan suffered a last- gasp 26-24 defeat against the high-flying Catalans at the weekend.
And Prescott, who hopes to be back for the trip to Bradford a week on Sunday, admits Cherry and Whites must eradicate the inconsistency which blighted last year's quest for honours.
"We've started quite well but it's a long season," he said. "With the talent we've got, we should be challenging up there and going further than we did last year.
"We've been winning but sometimes it's been a little bit scrappy, but in the big games you need to put in big performances.
"We needed to play well for our own confidence and show people we are a serious side and that we can challenge - and we did that by beating Leeds.
"Last year there were a couple of away games we should've won but we let slip at Huddersfield and Wakefield. We felt we should be winning those games and that really affected us come the end of the year.
"We did okay against the likes of Leeds and Bradford and the bigger clubs, but when we came up against the so called smaller teams we struggled a little bit and we need to put that right."
- Controversial sprinter Dwain Chambers could extend his trial with Super League basement club Castleford.
The Tigers insist that, despite speculation to the contrary, the 30-year-old athlete will complete his four-week unpaid trial at the club, but they accept he is unlikely to play a match in that time.