JUST DAYS after his first driving lesson, 17-year-old Jordan Crowther will make his debut for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats tomorrow – at the home of Super League champions and World Club Challenge finalists Wigan Warriors.
A week ago, their illustrious hosts were playing the likes of Sonny Bill Williams and Michael Jennings in Sydney.
Yet, according to his coach Richard Agar, the England Academy second-row will not be daunted in the slightest.
“He’s fearless and it won’t faze him one little bit,” he said.
“A week after his 17th birthday, he’s just had his first driving lesson and he’s making his Super League debut away at Wigan.
“I’m really excited by it. He’s a super kid. We signed two very, very talented 16-year-olds this season – Max Jowitt’s the other – and playing first grade has come a bit sooner than anticipated.
“But it’s the situation we’re in, the way some of our guys performed last week and the fact his training and progress has been outstanding.”
Crowther played against Wales for England Youth last August and has made massive strides since joining from local amateur club Westgate Wolves.
Luke Briscoe, the 19-year-old on a season-long loan from Leeds Rhinos, also makes his Super League debut as Agar responds following last week’s disappointing 23-10 home loss to Bradford Bulls.
He worked with the teenager at Hull and likens him to that club’s famously versatile Richard Whiting.
“Luke is in a massive Leeds squad and has come here knowing he’s a little bit closer to first-team action,” he said,
“What his best position is neither myself or Brian McDermott is confident enough to answer yet, but he is probably a little bit like Richard Whiting.
“Luke’s one of those who can play centre, wing, full-back, stand-off or back-row and will do a job for you.
“He’s still got some growing to do and a bit of size to put on and longer term I do probably envisage him being a back-row of some sort.”
Briscoe could slot in at centre for the suspended Dean Collis as Wakefield continue their search for a first win of the season.
They will be hopeful the champions are feeling some of the after-effects of their 36-14 loss to Sydney Roosters and the vast amount of travelling involved.