SINCE coming back into the Warrington Wolves team, Matty Nicholson has been the model of consistency.

And while he insists he will guard against pushing the young back-rower too hard, head coach Sam Burgess believes The Wire have “a great player” for both the present and future on their hands.

A hernia injury meant the 20-year-old, who joined from Wigan Warriors midway through the 2022 season, missed the season’s early weeks before making his return in the Challenge Cup sixth round victory over London Broncos.

Since then, he has been ever-present and a consistent performer on both sides of the ball.

He has been an attacking threat on the right edge, scoring three tries in his nine appearances while also averaging more than eight metres per carry, but it is his work in defence that has caught the eye of late.

The past three games have seen him make 150 tackles, topping the team’s tackle charts in wins over Leigh, Hull FC and Hull KR as well as the defeat to Salford.

With all of that considered, Burgess says he is pleased to see Nicholson “take ownership” of his role within the side.

“He’s a good player,” the Wire boss said.

“He had a disrupted pre-season with injury, but he is a fit guy and he has really taken a bit of ownership on his role which has been good.

“He is evolving – I didn’t realise he had made that many tackles.

“I know he’s in the games as he’s a pretty consistent player.”

“I’ve been impressed with his consistency. He has got a bit to go but I think he’s only played around 30/35 games, so he’s going to be a great player but we’ve just got to make sure we don’t push him too hard, too early.”

Nicholson was handed the number 13 shirt in pre-season, indicating more time in the middle of the field was in the offing for the one-cap England international.

However, Ben Currie’s form since moving to loose forward has seen him back on the right edge and with Lachlan Fitzgibbon on the left, the team’s second row is looking settled.

Burgess did not rule out playing Nicholson through the middle of the field moving forward, believing he would “bring value” in that area as well as on the edges.

“I think he grew up playing in the middle – obviously he finds himself on the edge now but I think he brings value in both areas,” he said.

“In today’s game, it’s a valuable asset to be able to play both.

“I think the edge generally keeps you out of the majority of traffic but judging by the stats, he’s doing a fair bit of work.

“He’s a valuable asset to the team so we’re glad he is finding a bit of form.”