GIVEN he was “worried” about regaining his place while injured for six months, it is understandable why Huddersfield Giants’ Kyle Wood is keen to make the most of every opportunity.
The diminutive scrum-half/hooker made a try-scoring return at Headingley last week, his first appearance for the club since rupturing his cruciate ligament against Catalan last July.
He is set to feature quickly again tonight as Huddersfield, seeking their first win of the year, host Widnes Vikings.
With so much creative quality, Castleford Tigers scrum-half Jamie Ellis having come in to join captain Danny Brough, plus ex-England hookers Shaun Lunt and Luke Robinson this term, Wood admits he was concerned.
“It is good that there’s so much competition as it does keep us on our toes,” he said, with all but Brough equally capable of playing nine or seven.
“But it was something I was probably worried about when I was injured as they are all such quality players.
“You know you have to be good when you do get a chance and make sure you take that opportunity to stay in the team.”
Thankfully, he did just that off the bench at Leeds, coach Paul Anderson noting his positive contribution after helping Giants retrieve an 18-0 deficit albeit to eventually lose 28-24.
The former Wakefield Trinity player had arguably been in his best form since joining in 2013 when that injury struck.
Wood, 25, recalled: “I was just hitting a bit of form, playing quite big minutes and it was a bad one – an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
“I was gutted and it was quite a tough rehabilitation, too. But I felt positive in that I only missed seven games last season and just two at the start of this.
“So, it was great to get that excitement actually playing again,.
Clearly, results are not coming Huddersfield’s way, though, and they are in dire need of one tonight to lift off the foot of the table but Wood insisted: “The effort is there and we’re doing plenty right, it’s just a couple of things we need to tighten up on.
“It is key, though, we get a win. We’re still happy within ourselves but pressure is starting now and we have to start playing a full 80 minutes.”