FRENCH international Theo Fages produced a gutsy display on both sides of the ball against Wigan to grab his opportunity at scrum half with both hands ­— ensuring he will keep the shirt for Sunday's trip to Wakefield.

Largely overlooked in the half back role last term, Fages was reduced to a sporadic interchange role off the bench and missed out altogether in the last match of the season.

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But after returning from international duty, Fages has impressed coach Justin Holbrook with his application and enthusiasm in training, which combined with Dream Team number seven Danny Richardson’s disrupted off season, opened the door.

It was a chance the 24-year-old did not let slip through his fingers, with his willingness to take the ball to the line - and often copping the brutal consequences - asking questions of the defence and crucially creating space for the wide players to exploit.

And as an added bonus defensively, despite the physical mismatch, he tied up Wigan’s wide running second row Joe Greenwood to neutralise that threat on the edge.

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Holbrook said: “I haven’t decided long-term (on the number seven). Danny had a disrupted pre-season to Christmas but is 100 per cent now.

“Theo had a fantastic pre-season and earned the opportunity to start and I thought he did a great job and I was happy for him.

“I haven’t tried to look too far ahead. I just wanted to give Theo first crack and he went really well ­— and he will stay there.”

Fages teamed up with Jonny Lomax at six, but with new full back Lachlan Coote taking on a key role in the last tackle plays.

It is a combination Holbrook expects to develop as the year progresses - but he emphasised that the former North Queensland Cowboys number one’s role will remain pivotal, no matter who wears the seven jersey.

Holbrook said: “Lachlan will definitely be as heavily involved all year.

“He is such a smart player and a calming influence on our side.

“The more he is around the ball and the things he does, the better the team is going to be.

“It is a luxury having a left foot kicker in the team - and such a good kicker that it gives us so many more options.

“He has a big job to play for us.”

Although there was a couple of blemishes, with one spilled ball and an interception pass for the Liam Marshall try, Coote’s all-round defensive display - particularly his defusing of grubbers - was top-notch.

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Holbrook said: “His anticipation on the play is as good as I have seen.

“I know it is only round one and I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, but it is a strength to his game.

“He pops up all the time where the ball is and the really good players have a knack of doing that.

“It is not lucky, it is an understanding of the game and putting themselves in a good position.”