WIGAN WARRIORS captain Liam Farrell admits it was heart-breaking sitting at home watching England in the World Cup, but deep down he knows he made the correct decision not to play.
The 32-year-old suffered a knee injury in Wigan’s Super League home victory over St Helens in August that ruled him out of the rest of the campaign.
Speaking to Farrell at the Dream Team awards in September, the second row forward told League Express that he still held hopes of featuring in the World Cup.
In the end, however, he admitted defeat and ruled himself out of coach Shaun Wane’s plans. But he knows it was the right decision as he is now pain-free and ready for the Warriors’ Super League opener away at Hull KR on Saturday after returning to action against Salford Red Devils in Sam Powell’s testimonial match.
“It was tough,” said Farrell. “When I spoke to you last time, I still thought I had a chance. I thought there was a chance of playing a small part. When the reality kicked in, it was very frustrating not to be a part of it.
“But I look back on it now and it was the right call. I spoke to Waney, but you can’t go into international games with injuries, so as frustrating as it was to watch I think I made the right call in the end.
“It has been a tough pre-season, so to get out (against Salford), and get some fresh minutes was very good and exciting to see the new lads and new combinations out there.
“I am injury-free now. The knee injury was bad timing last year, I am over that now and I am just looking forward to a healthy 2023.”
Farrell has been named club captain for the upcoming season following the retirement of Tommy Leuluai, and the new skipper feels honoured and privileged to take on the new role.
“The word I use to everyone is proud,” added Farrell.
“It’s an honour, not just for me but my family and friends. I have a number of great leaders around me, some that have played the game recently and some that are still playing.
“I can jump on the back of them and get some experience from them, and hopefully lead the team well. The captain’s role will not change anything I do, I will be focusing on my game and make sure I set the standards high.
“I knew I was one of the more senior players of the team and I had a few conversations with Matty (Peet) about it. It then came around quickly in the off-season. I was overwhelmed, I didn’t have any words at the time and I still don’t now.
“All I know is that I will give everything I have to represent the town as captain and make sure I lead in the right manner.”