Wigan v Huddersfield Giants: Michael Lawrence delighted to back in the fray

AT the second attempt, Huddersfield Giants' eager Michael Lawrence is all ready to go again in 2018.

Michael Lawrence: Injury-free.
Michael Lawrence: Injury-free.

Barring any late setbacks, and for the first time since the opening game of the season, the combative back-row forward hopes to return to action at Wigan Warriors tonight.

Lawrence spent most of last year sidelined by a serious knee injury but was fit and ready to make his mark when the campaign kicked-off with a 38-12 defeat at Hull FC.

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However, he injured a hamstring in that encounter and missed the next five games, the West Yorkshire club picking up just two wins in his absence.

“Obviously, it was disappointing for that to happen like that,” recalled the player who has played more than 200 matches for his home-town team. “After what happened last year, I was desperate to get going and I’d had a good pre-season, trained well only to go pick up a little injury like that.

“It was frustrating. It took a while to heal and hamstrings can be tricky but it wasn’t a big one like the knee.

“I’m all good to go now as long as I don’t get any reaction after our final training session.”

The prospective return of Lawrence will serve as a significant boost for Huddersfield as they seek to remedy their biggest defeat of the year, last Thursday’s embarrassing 38-6 home defeat to fellow strugglers Hull KR.

“It was very disappointing; we under-performed,” conceded the 27-year-old, whose work-rate and energy will certainly be needed after Ireland second-row Oliver Roberts dropped out of the squad.

“We didn’t perform to our ability and we’re looking for a response. Hopefully, we’ll get that on Friday at a tough Wigan side. They are always title challengers every single year and they’re going well again.

“You know what you’ll get with Wigan; they’ve a big, aggressive pack, are very tough to break down and you always know what’s coming but it’s difficult stopping it.”

Huddersfield also welcome back fellow forwards Adam Walne and Daniel Smith.