DARYL Powell has offered an explanation as to why academy graduate Ellis Longstaff has not featured in the Warrington Wolves first team of late.

While the likes of Josh Thewlis and Connor Wrench have had extended runs in Powell's side this season, the second rower's game time has been more limited.

The 19-year-old has made six appearances this season, the last of which came when he started the 40-8 loss to Catalans Dragons last month.

Some supporters have questioned why Longstaff has not featured, with first-team back-rowers Oliver Holmes and Ben Currie coming under fire from fans for their displays.

When asked, Powell says he expects Longstaff to be putting pressure on those ahead of him but that he is "a little bit below where he should be."

"I’ve sat down with Ellis and explained to him in great detail what I want him to do a couple of times," he said.

"There’s a few players under pressure in our team and I think Ellis should be there or thereabouts.

"At the moment, he’s a little bit below where he should be and I’m challenging him to step up.

"I understand why they're asking the question, but Ellis has got to do his part of the bargain and step up to the plate."