Wigan coach Shaun Wane has welcomed Iain Thornley back from rugby union and promised him a chance to fill the boots of veteran centre George Carmont.
Wane confirmed that Carmont, who turns 34 next month, will leave the DW Stadium at the end of the season, his fifth with the Super League club.
The Samoan international, who has scored 58 tries since joining Wigan from Newcastle Knights, was persuaded to shelve his retirement plans by signing a new 12-month contract last July.
Wane blooded 20-year-old Jack Hughes at centre in Carmont's injury absence earlier this year and says Thornley, who is the same age, will get a chance after cutting short his stay in the 15-man code.
Thornley, a centre or second-rower who came through Wigan's academy, was on the verge of making his Super League debut when he switched codes two years ago.
He moved to Premiership club Sale Sharks on a three-and-a-half year contract but spent most of last season on loan to Championship club Leeds.
"I've always been a big fan of Iain," said Wane. "I was disappointed when he left.
"It's George's last year and for Iain to get a few months with him as a replacement will be fantastic if he performs.
"He's big, tall, athletic and has got good skills. He's been playing that game for a few months so we'll have to get him up to speed with proper rugby.
"He's having a couple of weeks off because he's been going for two years but he's absolutely buzzing because he's a Wigan lad and he knows he'll get a chance."
Thornley said: "This is a great opportunity for me and I am thrilled to be given the chance to return to the Wigan Warriors.
"It is my aim to pay Wigan back by working hard, earning a place in the side and playing to the best of my ability."
Meanwhile, Wigan will be virtually at full strength for Saturday's Carnegie Challenge Cup quarter-final against St Helens.
Goalkicking winger Pat Richards will be the only notable absentee while Wane is delighted to have the services of skipper Sean O'Loughlin and fellow forwards Lee Mossop, Liam Farrell and Epalahame Lauaki, who all missed the Warriors' 28-10 Super League win over Saints at Langtree Park on Good Friday.
"It's a game we badly want to win and we've got a few players back from when we played on Good Friday," Wane said. "It's going to be a stronger team, we just need the same mentality."
Saturday's tie will definitely be played at the DW Stadium despite the club checking out the availability of neighbouring grounds due to Wigan Athletic's final Premier League home game 24 hours later.
Bolton's Reebok Stadium and the Leigh Sports Village were under consideration at one time, while St Helens also offered to host the quarter-final until Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan thrashed out a deal with stadium owner Dave Whelan.
Wane insists he would have been happy to switch the game.
"I'm grateful for the work Dave and Ian did to get the game on at the DW but, if I'm totally honest, it wouldn't have bothered me if it was at Leigh or Bolton," he said.
"I would have liked to have played at Langtree Park because our record is quite good there."