Liam Farrell builds perfect player with best tackler, quickest player and more key attributes

Drew Darbyshire
Liam Farrell perfect player Wigan Warriors Alamy

From left to right: Jai Field, Liam Farrell and Pat Richards in action for Wigan Warriors

In a new feature coming to Love Rugby League in 2024, we’re asking players – past and present – to build their perfect rugby league player. 

There are five categories that fit the bill for the perfect rugby league player: passing, kicking, speed, tackling and rugby IQ.

Our first guest on My Perfect Player is Wigan Warriors captain Liam Farrell. We asked the England international to build his all-time player from the five key attributes above: all hypothetically speaking of course, we didn’t actually send him to a laboratory..

Without further ado, here is Liam Farrell’s Perfect Player..

Rugby IQ: Lee Briers

Lee Briers Brisbane Broncos Alamy

From working with him recently, Lee Briers. Just the thought and detail he put into his coaching.. I’m guessing that was just him relaying it on from when he was a player.

He is very smart and had slight tweaks to his game plans every time we played a different team and you could just say he is a very smart bloke when it comes to rugby.

Passing: Matty Bowen

Matty Bowen Wigan Warriors Alamy

Passing is a skill and I always say the most skilful player I played with was Matty Bowen.

The passing ability comes under skill, and Matty Bowen was definitely one of the most skilful players I have ever played with.

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Kicking: Pat Richards

Pat Richards Wigan Warriors Alamy

I’ve got two complete contrasts here. I’ve got Harry (Smith) who I play with now, in-field (kicking) he is brilliant, he is probably one of the best in the league and then Pat Richards (for goal-kicking).

I think I’ll go with Paddy, he came up with some unbelievable moments. In training, we’d send him in the middle of the field and it’d be the last play and we’d just get him to put up spiral kicks. I remember in 2010 he was just untouchable with the ball in hand and then with his kicking.

Speed: Jai Field

Jai Field Wigan Warriors Alamy
Wigan Warriors' Jai Field in action in 2024

There’s been some fast players in my time, Jai (Field), Bevan (French).. Pick either of them, they are like lightning.

I’m going to get slated for whichever one I pick! I’m going to go with Jai. If we’re talking 10 or 20 metres then no-one touches Bevan but if we’re talking 100 metres then Jai.

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Tackling: Tommy Leuluai

Tommy Leuluai Wigan Warriors Alamy

Tommy Leuluai, 100 per cent. No one comes close! Growing up as a kid, the (Maurie) Fa’asavalu tackle is still in my memory bank now and then obviously playing with him, seeing him tackle so many people..

Sometimes he’d come out of the tackle and he’d hurt himself but he wasn’t bothered, he loved that side of the game. It wasn’t just him though, Kylie (Leuluai) loved it, MacGraff (Leuluai) loved it but I think Tommy was the best!

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