Wigan Warriors prop Hamlin wants to taste Grand Final glory success
Gabe Hamlin has promised to return to Wigan even hungrier following his Grand Final omission.
The Australian prop played in 15 games in succession before being squeezed out of the frame for the semi-final against Castleford.
And he watched last Saturday’s title-triumph from the stands alongside Taulima Tautai, who was also fit for selection.
Hamlin, nicknamed ‘The Hammer’, had no quarrels with Shaun Wane’s selection but said he doesn’t want to be overlooked for any more finals Wigan reach.
The 21-year-old said: “Every one of those boys deserved to be out there, I had no complaints with that and I’m buzzing for the boys.
“It was such an emotional game and I’m just glad we got the win. But it just makes me more hungry, I don’t want to be on this side of the victory again. I’ll do my absolute best to get in the side if we’re in that position again.”
Hamlin and Tuatai were lavished with praise by Wane afterwards.
“Taulima and Gabe are fit, and you’d never think they were gutted – the way they behaved sums our club up,” he said.
Hamlin, whose dad and brothers had flown over ahead of the semi-final, was still able to reflect on a successful debut season in Super League.
“Obviously it was hard not to play in the final, but for my first year I’m happy,” he added.
The former South Sydney junior was named young player of the year at the club’s awards dinner on Monday night before flying home the following day.
He is expected to return for pre-season training along with Wigan’s other non-internationals on November 19.
“I’ll have some time at home, re-energise a bit and see some of my family before coming back for pre-season,” he added.
Wigan, meanwhile, are expected to comment this week on the Zak Hardaker saga.
Their big-name recruit was convicted of drink-driving last Thursday.
But Warriors officials said they would delay making a call on his future until after the Grand Final.