ROBBIE Mulhern played big minutes during Leigh’s record-breaking Super League and Challenge Cup campaigns.

But the Leopards’ powerhouse prop will be grateful for any game time in England’s final two Test matches against Tonga.

Mulhern made the cut as coach Shaun Wane trimmed his performance squad down from 24 to 19 for the series against the Pacific islanders.

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And after not featuring, together with Wigan’s Liam Farrell, in an exciting 22-18, first Test win at St Helens last Sunday, the one-time Leeds Rhinos, Hull KR and Warrington front rower could get the nod for Sunday’s show down at Huddersfield.

The final Test is heading for a sell out at Headingley on Saturday, November 4.

However, Mulhern, who celebrated his 29th birthday on October 18, remains grounded by his situation.

“I was disappointed not to play but you can’t complain when you see the people in front of you and what they have done,” said the eye-catching front rower who won his last England cap against France five years ago.

“The team is full of quality, and someone had to miss out. Unfortunately, that was me, but I will keep working hard and hopefully get a chance.

“I am just enjoying the moment and being involved in a group of world class talent.

“If I get my chance brilliant, if not then it has still been a great experience.”

Mulhern, who debuted for Ireland in 2014 and played for the Wolfhounds in last season’s World Cup, was unlucky not to join Leigh’s five-strong Dream Team contingent.

Delighted with his form he credits Leopards’ boss Adrian Lam for his progression.

“Even though things didn’t go well at Warrington last season (2022) I still thought I had played pretty well, maybe not England standard but still well.

“However, Lammy put a lot of faith in me and backed me every week. He stuck with me at the start of the season and told me to get in those big minutes.

“I took a lot of confidence from that and it made me believe I can get back to this stage.

“Most lads want to be on the field for as many minutes as they can,” he said of his marathon stints in the middle. “That’s the same for me.

“It can be tough at times, especially the days following when you are bit bruised. But being out there with the boys is what you want to do.”

Mulhern was certainly a star performer as Leigh swept to Wembley glory and then made the play-offs for the first time.

“There will be a lot more expectation on us (next season) and rightly so because we have a great team,” he explained.

“Teams will respect us more because we were considered a surprise packet last season. So, people need to be realistic.

“We need to stay grounded and realise it will be a tough season. We might not hit the heights at times we did this season.

“But we will be giving it our all and the new signings will give us a lot more energy and hopefully we can do something great again.”