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Super League: Wigan Warriors' Liam Marshall aims to make up for missed Grand Finals in 150th appearance

Liam Marshall is set to make his 150th appearance for Wigan Warriors in Saturday's Betfred Super League semi-final at home to Hull Kingston Rovers; watch the clash at the DW Stadium live on Sky Sports Arena from 12.15pm on Saturday (12.45pm kick-off)

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ - 09/09/2023 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League Round 25 - Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors - Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England -

Liam Marshall scores tries. Lots of them. This year alone he has managed 20 in 25 Betfred Super League appearances for Wigan Warriors, the fourth time he has reached that mark in his eight-season career.

Unsurprisingly, Marshall is difficult to stop as well. The winger has the most gainline metres of any Wigan player in 2023, and the fifth-most in Super League, with 3,239 and an average gain of 9.25 metres per carry. Along with fellow wide player Abbas Miski, he leads the Warriors with 25 linebreaks.

They are some eye-catching numbers, but as far as Marshall is concerned, there is nothing particularly exceptional about what he does to rack up those statistics.

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"I just try to get through as much work as possible carrying out of our backfield," Marshall said.

"I'm probably not the biggest or strongest, so I just try to be as elusive and quick to the break as I can be, and that helps me sometimes. It's probably that, there's no special formula to it.

"It's staying away from the big lads as much as you can, and that usually means you can make a linebreak or two or avoid a tough contact."

Another notable statistic is that Saturday's Super League play-off semi-final at home to Hull Kingston Rovers will mark Marshall's 150th appearance for Wigan, where he will aim to make it an extra special day with a victory which will take the Warriors back to the Grand Final and avenge July's Betfred Challenge Cup semi-final loss to the Robins.

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After a bruising encounter, Wigan beat Leigh in the final game of the regular season to win the League Leaders' Shield

The 27-year-old missed Wigan's 2018 win over Warrington Wolves in the Super League showpiece at Old Trafford and the defeat to St Helens in the behind-closed-doors Grand Final in Hull two years later due to injury, both times after suffering serious knee damage earlier in the season.

That he has been able to battle back twice from injuries which required surgery and not lost any of the athletic ability which makes him such a devastating threat down the Warriors' edge is testament to Marshall's strength and conditioning regime.

But he admitted coming back not just once but twice from long-term knee issues is as much of a mental challenge as a physical one.

"It's a strange one to say you go from one day doing exactly what you can do, and your body is fine, to another where your knee is gone and you lose that lateral movement and power you had," Marshall said.

I'm probably not the biggest or strongest, so I just try to be as elusive and quick to the break as I can be, and that helps me sometimes.
Wigan Warriors winger Liam Marshall

"But you've got to trust the process with it, keep working hard in training, and the strength and conditioning staff know what they're doing. It's more a confidence thing, I think.

"We're privileged enough to see some of the best surgeons and get the best advice, so when your knee is right and ready to go, you'll be back out on the field.

"It's just getting that confidence and trust, and timing as well when you've been out for a long time. A lot of it is more in your own head than what your body is like."

One person who has played a big part in Marshall's development at the Warriors is head coach Matt Peet, who was part of the academy staff when the then-Wigan St Patricks junior went for a trial with the town's professional club at the age of 17.

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Wigan Warriors head coach Matt Peet was full of pride after seeing his side beat Leigh to finish top of the table

Peet then coached Marshall during his time in Wigan's youth set-up and served as his point of contact when he was enjoying his first taste of professional rugby while scoring 20 tries in 22 games on a season-long loan with part-timers Swinton Lions in 2016.

It is an ongoing relationship Marshall is grateful to have and one which has served him particularly well during some of those dark times, with the England Knights international eyeing more success to back up last year's Challenge Cup final triumph.

"He's been involved in my path at Wigan and probably helped mould me as a player," Marshall said.

"Me and Matty have had some tough conversations in the past when things weren't going exactly to plan for me, but I think it has helped our bond as a player and a coach.

Picture by Chris Mangnall/ - 29/05/2016 - Rugby League - Kingstone Press Championship Summer Bash - Oldham RLFC v Swinton Lions - Bloomfield Road Blackpool, England
Oldham's Lewis Palfrey and Liam Johnson tackle Swinton's Liam Marshall
Image: Liam Marshall's first professional playing experience came on loan at Swinton

"It makes it easier for me because I know him as a person, and what he expects from me and what he expects of a team.

"It makes my job easier because I know what he wants me to do as a player and how he wants things to run, and that trust is a massive factor as a player and why we've done so well this season, and hopefully it'll continue for years to come."

Watch Wigan Warriors and Hull Kingston Rovers battle it out for a place in the Betfred Super League Grand Final live on Sky Sports Arena from 12.15pm on Saturday, October 7 (12.45pm kick-off). Also stream on NOW.

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