Wigan Warriors prop to be rested ahead of Hull KR clash: ‘He’s been playing pretty busted’

Josh McAllister
Liam Byrne in action against Leigh Leopards in Super League. Photo: Ian Charles | MI News.

Liam Byrne in action against Leigh Leopards in Super League

Wigan Warriors head coach Matt Peet admits that Liam Byrne is likely to be rested for Friday’s Super League clash with Hull KR. 

He also confirmed that duo Sam Powell and Ethan Havard are close to making their returns from their respective injuries.

Ireland international Byrne, 23, has made 20 appearances for the Warriors so far in 2023, having been handed the number 10 shirt ahead of the season’s kick-off.

Peet admits that the prop forward has been carrying knocks throughout the season, having represented his heritage at last year’s World Cup under Ged Corcoran featuring against Jamaica and Lebanon.

“This might be a week where we take Liam Byrne out of the firing line,” Peet said.

“He’s been playing pretty busted with painkilling injections for most of the season. Giving him this two week period will be a good chance for him.

“He’s probably been carrying a burden at times when we lost Mike Cooper and Ethan [Havard] and Liam was always out there.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to rest him and get some quality work into his injuries to get him stronger for the back end.”

Matt Peet provides Wigan Warriors injury update

Number nine Powell, 31, underwent surgery earlier in June which has sidelined him throughout July.

He was initially dropped for selection ahead of the minor operation, missing fixtures against St Helens in Super League and Warrington Wolves in the Challenge Cup for Brad O’Neill and Cade Cust.

Meanwhile, highly-rated forward Havard suffered a hamstring injury in the defeat to Wakefield Trinity in July, ruling him out for up to a month.

The 22-year-old had already suffered a dislocated elbow in 2023 during the Challenge Cup sixth round victory over Leeds Rhinos.

The pair are closing in on their returns, and could either be back for the home Super League Round 21 clash, or after the Challenge Cup final as Willie Peters’ side face Leigh Leopards at Wembley.

“There are no new injuries. Ethan and Sam Powell are coming back into contention in the next week or two,” Peet confirmed.

“We’re in good shape.

“Sam is feeling a new lease of life and seems very energetic. He has worked very hard on himself physically and is looking forward to getting some rugby under his belt.”

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