Rather than take his ball home and sulk, Kirkland is up for the fight of regaining his spot.
And, in a remarkably honest assessment, he says he is looking forward to the biggest battle of his career so far.
"It's the first time I've ever been in this situation in all the time I've been playing, but I'm no different to everyone else," Kirkland told the Wigan Observer.
"There are much better players than me who have been left out of the team and have had to work their way back in. I'm no special case or anything like that.
"I've always had to work very hard to stay in the team, and now I'm not I know I'll have to work even harder to get back in there.
"It's hard not playing, of course it is, but I know that I didn't play well enough to deserve to stay in the team.
"And I've always said that it doesn't matter who you are - if you not playing well enough, there are people here who will come in and take your place.
"I'll be hoping to grab my chance with both hands when it does come although, to be fair, I've not grabbed many balls with both hands this season - which is partly why I'm on the sidelines."