DANNY KIRMOND is hoping he can keep a regular Super League spot after finally making his Super League XVI bow.
The 25-year-old back-row forward missed the first six rounds of the season after suffering a bad pre-season finger injury which required surgery.
That meant he missed out on staking a strong first-team claim at the start of the campaign.
But having produced a solid display in his first game of the season in the 38-16 weekend win at Hull KR, the former Featherstone winger has made it clear he doesn’t want to spend many more weeks in 2011 sitting in the stands.
“The start of the year has been really frustrating, and I hope I can put all this behind me now,” said Kirmond, who played the opening 30 minutes at Craven Park and then came on for the final 10.
“For the first few weeks of pre-season, things were going really well and it was looking like I might be in the starting line-up for the first games.
“But as soon as I picked up the injury I knew it was a fairly bad one.
“It meant I missed about 10 weeks of contact training, which is obviously one of the most important parts you have to do.
“To say that was frustrating would be a complete understatement. It really hit me hard.
“I knew it meant I’d miss the start, and that it gave the other boys a chance to cement a first-team spot at my expense.
“So, to get on the field the other day was a relief as much as anything else.
“This was the chance for me to show Browny that this is where I should be, and hopefully I’ve done enough to keep my place for next week at home to Wakefield.
“I thought I was solid the other day, and now I’ve got that first game under my belt, I’ll start to push on as much as I can.”
But even though Kirmond found his time sitting in the stands so tough, he admits the support he received from head coach Nathan Brown throughout that time was crucial.
“When you’re out of the equation you have to stay strong,” he added.
“And Browny helped me be like that. He kept me involved as much as he could and told me I would get my chance sooner rather than later.
“Thankfully, he kept to his word.”