Wigan Warriors injury update as Matt Peet reveals more on Sam Walters return

Drew Darbyshire
Sam Walters Mike Cooper Liam Byrne Wigan Warriors Alamy

From left to right: Sam Walters, Mike Cooper and Liam Byrne of Wigan Warriors

Wigan Warriors coach Matt Peet has provided an injury update on three members of his forward pack ahead of Thursday’s clash with Catalans Dragons.

The world champions will welcome back key prop Liam Byrne, with the Ireland international having served his four-match suspension following his red card in their defeat at St Helens on Good Friday.

On the return of Byrne, Peet said: “I’m just expecting him to play his game. We love what he brings, his work ethic and his energy are big things for us. We think a lot of Liam.

“There’s been a few things that he’s tuned up (during his suspension): both technically and physically. He plays a pretty simple game so a lot of it is about his body being the best it can be and I just want him to be him and I’m sure he will be.

“He’s just a pleasure to coach. It’s business as usual, he’s low maintenance and a great lad.”

Byrne’s return is timely given the fact Wigan will be without veteran front-rower Mike Cooper, who failed a head injury assessment in their 26-10 defeat at Hull KR last Friday.

Explaining Cooper’s absence from his 21-man squad to face Catalans, Peet said: “Mike actually failed a HIA at the game. He didn’t come off with a head injury but when he came off he reported that he’d taken a knock in one of his last carries and wasn’t feeling great so he actually failed a HIA.”

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Wigan Warriors coach Matt Peet provides update on Sam Walters

Peet provided an update on off-season signing Sam Walters, who has been named in their 21-man squad to face the Dragons – but he is unlikely to play, with the club earmarking his return from a broken collarbone in Saturday’s reserves fixture against Hull KR.

Peet added: “He is ready to play but if everything goes to plan he’ll play in the reserves.

“He’s in the 21 as cover for our edge forwards because he would be next in, but the plan at the moment isn’t for him to feature on Thursday, it’s for him to get big minutes in our reserves and put his hand up for next week.

“There’s no doubt that Sam’s versatility, the fact he can play middle and edge for us, would be very handy in our 17 but I think him getting some good game time against Hull KR (in the reserves) on Saturday is priority.

“I think we’re all eager to see him out there for our reserves but then for our first team. We know he’s going to be an asset, he’s fit in really well with our group, he’s got a unique skillset, he’s just a good lad, I think he’s going to be a good fit for us for a long time. It’s been a bit of a stuttering start for him, but I think that makes him and us all the more determined to make it work.”

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