The unbelievable hidden performance in the win that sent Wigan Warriors to Wembley

Drew Darbyshire
Luke Thompson Wigan Warriors Alamy

Wigan Warriors are on their way to Wembley thanks to a clinical display in their 38-6 win over Hull KR in the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup.

Whilst man of the match Harry Smith and rising star Junior Nsemba might get their names in the headlines for their impressive performances (and deservedly so), but the mammoth effort from Luke Thompson shouldn’t go unnoticed: it certainly won’t by his team-mates and the club’s coaching staff.

Thompson played the full 80 minutes. An incredible effort from a prop in any game, but in a semi-final in hot conditions? Phenomenal.

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The England international is proving to be a masterstroke of a signing from Wigan. He arrived at the club having struggled with injuries during his time in the NRL, making 42 appearances for Canterbury Bulldogs over four seasons, but it’s safe to say he’s fully fit and firing at Wigan.

Thompson has played in 13 of Wigan’s 14 games so far this season, only missing their World Club Challenge triumph against Penrith Panthers due to concussion protocol.

The 29-year-old has enjoyed a more than impressive start to his time at the Warriors so far. He’s become a leader in Matt Peet’s forward pack, and is leading by his actions which will no doubt benefit younger members of the squad such as Ethan Havard, Liam Byrne, Harvie Hill and Junior Nsemba.

Luke Thompson’s impressive stats in Super League

Thompson’s work rate has always been a strong point of his game: both in attack and defence. In Super League this season, he is averaging an impressive 27 tackles per game as well as making 12 carries, with an average of 94 metres made per match.

The strength in depth at the Warriors, particularly in the forward pack, has been highlighted by many this year: and Thompson has quickly become a focal point of it.

He was one of the headline signings in Super League ahead of a ball being kicked in 2024, and he’s certainly delivering exactly what the Warriors brought him in to do.

The Cherry and Whites, who are the current Super League champions and World Club champions, look set to be on for somewhat of a dynasty in the coming years, and Thompson could well be a big part of that, having arrived on a four-year contract.

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