Abbas Miski: Find out more about the Wigan Warriors winger who is preparing to make his debut for the club
Abbas Miski is set to make his Wigan Warriors debut against Toulouse this afternoon.
The Lebanon international winger joined the club from London Broncos during the off-season, and has impressed Matty Peet during his short time at Robin Park Arena.
Growing up in Sydney, Miski says rugby league has always been a passion of his and something he knew he wanted a career in.
He said: “I had a normal upbringing. I had a big family, and was the youngest of seven kids. I grew up with a lot of cousins around me, always playing sports from a young age, especially rugby league. It was the sport to play.
“I definitely wanted to play it coming up through high school. When you’re a young kid and you love sport so much, there is never really any doubt in your head. You just assume it takes a bit of time, and that’s what I thought.
“I was about 22 when I started training full time, and I knew straight away I wanted to do it for a really long time.”
Miski’s first team debut didn’t come until he was 24-years-old, but he believes that was beneficial to him.
“I was a bit of a late bloomer, but I was grateful for it because I learnt things along the way,” he added.
“If I was thrown into it at a younger age, I might’ve found it a lot harder. Some guys learn a lot quicker than others.
“I never really doubted myself, and it’s really hard to give up when you have done so much. I was determined to make it to the top, playing in the NRL and the Super League. It’s all going to plan right now I guess.
“Being at Manly was a massive learning experience. It was a great bunch of boys, with experienced players, and great coaching staff. I learnt a lot. It changed my perspective on rugby league and the way I played.
“It helped to cement my spot in the family touch footy team back home. I had about 30 people at my debut, so it'll be a bit different for my Wigan one, but they’ll all be watching at home.”
Miski says coming over to England to play for London Broncos was the best option for him at the time.
“There were a few offers on the table, but some weren’t as lucrative as I would’ve liked. I thought I could make a good career for myself in the UK and London was a good opportunity.
“The options I had back weren’t bad but I thought if I wanted to give myself the best opportunity of playing week in week out at the highest level.
“It was snowing at the first training session I had, and I thought, ‘this is going to be hard.’
“I got a fitness test, and my lungs were struggling for the next five or six days.
“In terms of games, I remember travelling up to Batley, and without sounding harsh it was pretty terrible. It was raining and muddy, and different to anything I have ever experienced before.
“It gives the game a different tactical plan, but it’s good. When I’m done with my career I can say I’ve played in snow and I’ve played in mud, so I’m really grateful for it.
“Although it wasn’t the most successful season, it was still good. It was a good experience to travel to another country, and we had good coaching staff.
“I lived in Wimbledon. It was impossible to get tickets for the tennis. I walked past and watched it on the big screen, but could never get in.
“I definitely got the best of both worlds when I came over. When I left Australia everything was still pretty fine there with the pandemic, and when I arrived here the UK was just coming out of the major lockdown.”
Miski states he had heard a lot of good things about Wigan before joining the club, and admits it was the team he was desperate to sign for.
“I knew it was a great place, especially with the Australian players who have come here,” he explained.
“Just speaking to Matty before I signed, talking about the path he wanted to take and where he wanted the club to be, it was music to my ears.
“My agent asked me which club I would be really happy for if they offered me something, and I said Wigan. I was stoked about that. For all the games I play, I will try my best to excite the fans.
“They probably have a better facility than I’ve ever seen. They have everything you need to feel at home and become a better player, it gives you every chance.”
Miski represents Lebanon internationally due to both of his parents being born there.
“Every time I put on the jersey, it’s a real privilege and a feeling like no other. I made my international debut when I was young. I remember playing Fiji when I was 17, and just kept playing. The big one was the World Cup in 2017.
“The feelings you get are about what your parents have gone through, so it’s pretty big for me. I’ve been back to the country twice, and I love going there.
“It’s one of the only games my parents have been to, they never really knew what rugby was, but were the first ones there for the Lebanon games.
“I’ve spoken to the coach recently, and there’s big plans for the team to do something good. When was season is over, I will join the team straight away.”