Liam Farrell column: The finish line is in sight
Shaun Wane said I've been grumpy while I've been out injured - I can't really disagree with him!
I think most of the lads are the same when they’re sidelined. You feel out of it, helpless, frustrated.
You just want to play, and be out there with the rest of the lads in training.
I’ve probably not been the best person to be around over the last few months – and the fact I’ve never had a long lay-off before meant I wasn’t used to it.
There have been other injured players, so I’ve spent a lot of time with Tony Clubb, Anthony Gelling and Micky McIlorum.
The first few weeks were the hardest, because I didn’t have a time-frame on when I may be back.
Once I had the operation, and I knew how long my recovery period would be, I picked up because I could see the finish line in sight.
And now I’m at the end, I can’t wait to get back out there again.
The injury I’ve had has been quite rare in rugby league. It’s quite high up where I injured myself – trust me, I’ve become a rib-cage specialist over the last few months! – so they’re pretty confident it won’t cause me any problems in the future.
It may take a couple of weeks to get my match-fitness back, but I’ve been able to train fully the last two weeks and I’ve felt great.
Tomorrow we travel to Castleford, and I’d rank this alongside Catalans as one of the toughest away games of the year.
It’s a small, compact old-fashioned ground, and the fans really get on your back and create a really intimidating atmosphere.
You’ve got to block them out and make sure you focus on your game, because if they start getting on top and start getting in front, it’s a really tough place to be at.
Over the years, I’ve managed to put on the blinkers and ignore the noise.
But the last time we played there, I was sat in the stands and it was an eye-opener!
The fans are so loud and passionate, you start to think that some of the calls that the ref’ is making are actually wrong - that every tackle is high, that every pass is forward!
They’re going into this game in good form, following their win at Hull FC last week.
I think that will give them a massive confidence boost, and with that win giving them a chance of climbing into the top-four, there will be no shortage of motivation.
Denny Solomona is causing teams a lot of problems, Luke Dorn and Luke Gale are very experienced and they also have Rangi Chase back at the club.
On his day, he’s a tough player to stop - when he’s performing he can really make their team tick.
I trained and played alongside Rangi in the England squad in 2013, and he does the little, freakish things which are pretty impressive, but people don’t often see that he can be a really good organiser as well.
But obviously we want to go there and do a job, and after our big win against Wakefield we feel we’re in some good form.
It seems every time we go there it’s a tough slog, and I think it’s going to be exactly the same again, so we’re going to have to make sure that we’re on our game as well.
As well as the battle in our Super-8s league, I’m intrigued to see how the Qualifiers – or the Middle-8s – unfolds.
I think of if all four Super League teams perform to what they can do, they’re all going to come back up next year.
But Leigh have given themselves a good chance with how they’ve started, and with the squad they have assembled, and part of me thinks it’d be good to see someone different.
But personally, I think it will be a big ask to dislodge one of the four Super League sides involved.
I’m a huge sports fan, so the Olympics is on all the time at my house.
I was really impressed with Adam Peaty, and hopefully we see Team GB land some more golds over the next few days.
I can watch all sports - even if it’s not my favourite, I can find something to admire – and I hope Wigan’s Dan Bibby does well in the Rugby Sevens.
But my favourite is the track and field. There are some incredible athletes, and hopefully we see the likes of Mo Farah do well like the Super Saturday four years ago.