Liam Byrne glad to return as Wigan Warriors prop discusses competition for places

Drew Darbyshire
Liam Byrne Wigan Warriors Alamy

Liam Byrne in action for Wigan Warriors in 2024

Wigan Warriors prop Liam Byrne said it felt ‘really good’ to be back playing after spending the last month on the sidelines through suspension.

The Ireland international made his return to the field on Thursday night after serving his four-match ban following his red card against St Helens on Good Friday.

Byrne started in the front-row in Wigan‘s 30-8 win over Catalans Dragons as Matt Peet’s side returned to winning ways.

“It was really good to be back out there,” Byrne said. “I got some good work in over the four weeks with our strength and conditioning team, and just made sure I was coming back in the best shape possible. I really enjoyed it tonight and it was a good win.

“I did plenty of conditioning work, plenty of running, just working on my strength in the gym, working on my legs has been quite a big thing for me – just some really tough work with Bubble (Chris Baron, head of strength and conditioning).

“I’ve definitely come back feeling fresh like I’ve had some time off. It was a good chance for my body to get a bit of a refresh and I felt good coming back.”

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Liam Byrne discusses competition for places at Wigan Warriors

By his own admission, Byrne knows he or any of his team-mates can’t rest on the laurels in the first team, with a plethora of talent pushing hard for a spot in Peet’s matchday 17.

Byrne’s fellow packmen Sam Walters, Sam Eseh, Harvie Hill and Tiaki Chan will feature for the reserves in Saturday’s game against Hull KR at Robin Park Arena.

“There’s plenty (of competition),” Byrne said. “It feels like the most middles we’ve had, every single of one of them are unbelievably talented so they are great people to have around you and it’s really good competition as well.

“They are great lads to play alongside and they keep you on your toes every week so it’s good (for everyone).

“(I was) making sure sure I wasn’t resting on my laurels (during my suspension) and making sure I was good enough in training to hopefully get back in the squad. Obviously we had Mike Cooper (failed HIA) out this week and Sam Walters is on the fringes as well so I was fortunate to get straight back in the squad but it could’ve easily been different, so I’m very grateful to get back in and very grateful to get the win.”

Next up for Byrne and Wigan is a trip to the John Smith’s Stadium next Saturday to take on Huddersfield Giants in Round 11 of Super League.

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