Hampshire: I was emotional

  • Wigan Warriors’ Ryan Hampshire looks ahead to Thursday’s clash with Hull KR at Sewell Group Craven Park.
  • Hampshire: “Seeing a number of staff here who know the road I’ve been on could see I was holding it all back – I was really emotional.”
  • Watch the full interview with Ryan Hampshire on Wigan TV HERE.

Ryan Hampshire says his return to first team action was ’emotional’ ahead of Thursday night’s Round 13 clash at Hull KR.

Hampshire made his first appearance since re-joining the the club in Wigan’s 18-14 Challenge Cup victory over Leeds Rhinos at Headingley Stadium, as he returned to first team action after 11 months out injured.

Since injuring his ACL while playing for Castleford Tigers in June 2022, Hampshire has had to undergo two operations in order to get back to full fitness.

Speaking on his recovery, Hampshire said: “In November I was having complications with my knee and was really struggling to improve the injury so I had to see the surgeon again – which knocked me back a couple more months.

“It flipped the recovery on its head and I started to see progress from there. In January a deal came with Wigan, so I’ve been working hard from there and been patient to get back in the team. There were hard days but it was all worth it.”

Hampshire completed the full 80 minutes at Headingley on his return, and reflecting on his post-match emotions, he said: “Seeing my family at the end who helped me back from injury and a number of staff here who know the road I’ve been on could see I was holding it all back – I was really emotional.

“I was a little nervous before the game, but the closer it got the more it wore off. A few people told me just to take it all in and when I got onto the pitch and put in some work, that was when the anxieties of everything in the past went. It’s a massive relief to be back and there won’t be many more as intense.”

Hampshire could make his first Super League appearance since re-joining the Club, after he was named in Matt Peet’s 21-man squad for the Warriors visit to Hull KR.

Speaking on being back at the club, Hampshire said: “It’s totally different to the last time I was here – the training base and staff – but I’m just really excited to be playing for a top club again as this is what I have been working towards.

“The physios and the conditioning staff have all been brilliant just to get me back, and it’s just good to be playing with world class players. Your work gets upped when you are playing with them, and Saturday was only my first game back so there’s still plenty more improvement inside me.”

Matt Peet also looked ahead to Thursday’s game. Read the full Peet preview HERE.