How have I ended up here? Gil Dudson on why team spirit built Wigan glory

George Riley
Sam Tomkins and Gil Dudson Wigan Warriors PA

Sam Tomkins (left) and Gil Dudson (right) celebrate the 2013 Challenge Cup final

Gil Dudson has revealed how he felt like a competition winner when he first walked into the dressing room at Wigan 10 years ago.

The giant Wales international is heading to Warrington next season after two years with the Catalans Dragons, and cites his Wigan days as some of the very best of his career.

The 32-year old won the Grand Final and Challenge Cup double with the Warriors in 2013. He arrived the previous season from struggling Celtic Crusaders.

And Dudson told the Love Rugby League Podcast how he initially struggled to adapt to being a surrounded by superstar players.

“It was a bit surreal,” Dudson said. “I had come from the Crusaders where we didn’t win many games. I then went to Wigan where we just won all the time.

“My first thought was ‘How am I here?’ I walked in the changing room and there was Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Tomkins and Pat Richards.

“I was thinking how have I landed this, how have I ended up here? A bit of imposter syndrome.”

Gil Dudson: It was one of the closest teams I’ve been in

Under Shaun Wane, Dudson became a key component in the Wigan pack. They defeated Hull FC to win the Challenge Cup and overcame Warrington to clinch the double in 2013.

“The one thing I remember is that it is one of the closest teams I have been in in terms of togetherness,” he said.

“Everyone was together. If someone was going out for dinner, everyone was going for dinner. If someone was going for a drink, everyone was going for a drink after a game.

“That team spirit paid dividends as we went on and won the double. At the time it was my proudest moment, but having got through what I did after that I would say getting to the Grand Final with Salford; and beating Wigan at Wigan in the semi-final would be up there as one of the best achievements too.”

PODCAST: Gil Dudson on Catalans red mist, winning Wigan, World Cup fears and reigniting Warrington

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