Liam Marshall will grasp opportunity to put seven-year Wembley heartache to bed

Liam Marshall has plenty of happy memories as a supporter at Wembley, but as a player, the recollections aren't as fond. Wigan Warriors' star winger has done it all at his boyhood club, enjoying a remarkable rise to become one of Super League's best outside backs.

However, there has been plenty of adversity and heartache along the way. Injuries robbed him of Grand Final appearances in 2018 and 2020 though before that, he did get a chance to walk out at Wembley in unusual circumstances.

Marshall wasn't supposed to play in the 2017 Challenge Cup Final, but an injury to Tom Davies in the warm-up saw him drafted in minutes before kick-off. However, what he thought was a dream come true proved to be a nightmare, as the Warriors lost to Hull FC.

Since then, Marshall has roared back, scoring the winning try in a Challenge Cup Final, albeit at Tottenham in 2022, while helping the Warriors to Grand Final, League Leaders' Shield and World Club Challenge glory.

On Saturday, Wigan's latest Wembley visit gives him the opportunity to scratch an itch that has persisted for seven years.

"I was still pretty young then and didn't prepare in the perfect fashion," he said. "Then I got chucked in at the last minute. Hopefully, I can right some wrongs.

"I was young, a bit naive, and I didn't mentally prepare. Physically, I was there, but this time we can get into that. You want to play the biggest and best games and you want to play in these and compete for the silverware every time you can. This is another chance."

Marshall was at Wembley the last time the Warriors won there - but as a fan. Surprisingly, it's been 11 years since Wigan's last Wembley triumph, something the Warriors hope to put right when they take on Warrington Wolves this Saturday.

"I was there as a fan in both 2011 and 2013," Marshall recalls. "So while the memories as a player aren't great, they are as a supporter.

"I just love the buzz around it. You drive down, you get to the services and there are loads of Wigan fans everywhere. It's just a great weekend, probably the biggest spectacle in rugby league. I have good memories. Every time I went as a fan, Wigan won. Hopefully I can do it as a player this time. it will be great to play and one of the best stadiums in the world."

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