Wigan Warriors experienced something of a disappointing season in 2017 by their standards. Though they began the season as World Champions following their 22-6 victory over Cronulla, they were defeated by Hull FC in the Challenge Cup Final and finished a lowly sixth in the Super League table. Many will point to Wigan's injury list and rightly so; the Warriors did have 11 men out at one stage, but, champion sides can usually overcome adversity. Wigan, however, failed to do so and left the 2017 season in a whimper.

There was a massive consolation for the Warriors from this turbulent year however; a number of youngsters took to the field in place of injured bodies and, on the whole, performed admirably.

The likes of Liam Marshall, Liam Forsyth, Jack Wells and Joe Bretherton all stood up well when called upon, yet, one man in particular stood out, despite attracting little attention. If he can take his 2017 form into 2018, this youngster has a huge future ahead of him.

Tom Davies

Tom Davies joined the Wigan Warriors following an initial trial in 2015, after playing amateur Rugby League for Shevington Sharks, Orrell St James and Wigan St Pats. His form ever since has been terrific; in 2016, he was named Under-19s' Player of the Year and was rewarded with a first-team contract ahead of the 2017 season.

At the beginning of Super League XXII, winger Davies would not have been expecting first-team Rugby League as he was behind Joe Burgess, Lewis Tierney and fellow youngster Liam Marshall in the pecking order as the season began.

Yet, after injuries to both Burgess and Tierney, Davies got his chance in just Round 5 at home to Huddersfield Giants. Scoring a try in an eventual 16-16 draw, the 20-year-old seemed at home in the first-team on the wing. Remarkably, Davies notched up 24 appearances in a Wigan shirt in 2017, scoring 14 tries and succeeded in keeping Tierney out of the side and Burgess out of his favoured wing position despite the pair returning from injury.

In what just his first season in the senior team, Davies had become an integral part of the side. It was therefore a gutting blow for the youngster that he was ruled out a Challenge Cup Final fairytale with his hometown club after failing an injury test just 20 minutes before kick-off.

Tom Davies has everything that a winger needs in the current day and age; he is a potent attacking threat - with pace in abundance and skilful footwork - but he is also a sound defender and is not afraid to do the dirty work by helping out his tired forwards with metre-eating runs out of defence.

Liam Marshall rightly acquired a number of admirers in 2017 for his fantastic try-scoring ability, whilst Davies went about his business in a comparatively quiet fashion.

Yet, when head coach Shaun Wane was picking his squad for one of Wigan's most important games in 2017 - the Challenge Cup Final - Wane picked Davies over Marshall, until injury forced the former out. This was clearly a sign that Davies that was ahead of Marshall in Wane's thinking despite the reversed roles at the beginning of the season.

The long-injured Dom Manfredi may well be back for the 2018 season, but, Tom Davies should not be ousted from the wing spot which he made his own in 2017. Barely out of teenage years, Davies has all the right attributes to make it very far in Rugby League. And, Wigan fans should be very excited that Davies will spend it at their club, having signed a new deal until the end of 2020 midway through his brilliant opening season in the first-team setup.