THE decision to appoint him as Warrington Wolves co-captain may have taken him by surprise, but Jack Hughes is now looking to lead by example.

Having enjoyed his best year in a Wire shirt last year, the former Wigan second rower will lead the team alongside existing skipper Chris Hill in 2019.

While he may have led England Knights on their tour of Papua New Guinea last year, this will be Hughes’ first taste of leadership at club level.

It is a chance he is keen to make the most of – even if it did come as a bit of a shock.

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“Although leadership is something I’ve been trying to bring into my game over the past two or three seasons, this call took me by surprise,” he said.

“To be given the nod from Steve Price and to know you have that level of respect from your peers is something I’m proud of.

“It’s a massive honour and something I’m very proud of.

“To be co-captain alongside a player like Chris Hill is special for me.

“He’s led the club for a couple of seasons now and for me, he’s done a fantastic job.

“Since I’ve come in I’ve looked up to him as a captain and a leader.

“He’s the ultimate professional and the ultimate role model.

“It’s a relationship that will become very strong. We will drive the boys hard and hopefully lift some silverware together.

“To help lead this club to a trophy would be the highlight of my career without a doubt.”

Warrington Guardian:

Jack Hughes will co-captain Wolves alongside Chris Hill. Picture by Mike Boden

On the face of it, the decision appears logical as Hughes is likely to play the full 80 minutes week in, week out and missed only one game in the 2018.

So what kind of leader will he be?

“I like to think I’m honest. If someone needs to be told, I’m happy to do that,” he said.

“I’m here to support Hilly and help drive standards on and off the field.

“If that means pulling someone up and putting it on somebody’s toes, I will.

“For me, I have to keep doing what I have been doing.

“The consistency in my game is something I work really hard on. I don’t want to have a good week here and a bad week there.

“People know what they will get from me week in week out and I have to maintain that.”

The back row is probably the position in which The Wire are best resourced in terms of personnel, but Hughes has made the right-edge spot his own.

While his position in the team is unlikely to change, the players around him have.

“It’s been a lot of combination work for me in pre-season with a new half-back on the right edge,” the 27-year-old said.

“We had Tyrone Roberts last year and now we’ve got Blake (Austin).

“As a right-sided player, I’ve been looking to build that link-up with Blake so we know what we’re doing when games come around.

“He knows what I like doing and vice versa, so that’s been the focus of this off-season.”

Warrington Guardian:

Hughes has been developing a new link-up with Blake Austin during pre-season. Picture by Mike Boden

Hughes is one of only two Wire squad members to know what winning a Super League title feels like after he and Josh Charnley won the 2013 showpiece with Wigan at their current club’s expense.

Since joining Warrington in 2016, Hughes has been to four finals including two last year. All of them have ended in defeat.

“To do what we did last year was successful off the back of the year before, but we’re not happy with that. We’ve got high expectations of ourselves,” he said.

“We don’t just want to be competing. We want to be bringing silverware home.

“We’ve recruited really strong and that’s contributed to the good feel about the place.

“Experience breeds confidence and belief so we’re looking in a good place.”