Wigan prop Liam Byrne says he would love nothing more than being able to hand over the Challenge Cup to his long-time coach Matt Peet on Saturday.
Despite only being 22, Byrne has already made more than 50 appearances for the Warriors. He made his first team debut in 2019.
The Salfordian was signed by Peet from community club Cadishead Rhinos as a junior. Now, he is a starting prop under Peet in the first team.
“Matty brought me into Wigan and signed me as a young boy so it is crazy having him coach me in the first team,” Byrne told Love Rugby League.
“I’ve got an unbelievable amount of respect for him like all the other young lads who have come through the academy with him.
“We know what is expected if you want to play for him. It has been really good working with him.
“He has done a massive job in bringing us all closer and we’ve got a good bond – not just within the team but within the community as well so there is a really good feeling in the club.”
Liam Byrne relaxed ahead of Challenge Cup final
The Challenge Cup final this weekend will be by far the biggest game Byrne has played in to date, but the Ireland international isn’t fazed by the big-game pressure.
“It is my first big final and I’m really looking forward to it,” Byrne added. “I am playing on the big stage with my team-mates.
“There has been plenty of chat about it all the way through the year. We’ve finally got a chance to get our hands on silverware. We all want to win it for each other.
“There has got to be some sense of enjoyment there. We will enjoy it even more if we can come away with the win.
“We have to make sure we are still doing our jobs and staying focused in training to come away with the win.
“The main thing is winning and hopefully we can get that done this Saturday.”
Byrne, whose family hail from Belfast, will be hoping to represent his Irish heritage in his first World Cup this autumn.