My Ultimate Team: Wigan Warriors legend Denis Betts names his greatest 1-13 of players he played alongside

Drew Darbyshire
Denis Betts Alamy

Denis Betts is Love Rugby League's next guest on My Ultimate Team

Wigan Warriors legend and current women’s head coach Denis Betts is the next guest on Love Rugby League’s My Ultimate Team feature.

Betts played alongside some of the greatest-ever players to play rugby league, meaning his team is, inevitably, somewhat star-studded and littered with Wigan favourites. Including legends of the game in both hemispheres, here’s Betts’ best 13, exclusively featuring players he had the pleasure of playing alongside during his career.

Put the kettle on and enjoy a cuppa whilst reading Betts’ Ultimate Team..

1. Joe Lydon (Wigan)

Joe Lydon Wigan Warriors Alamy

I played with some top class fullbacks in my career – Steve Hampson, Phil Blake, Joe Lydon, Henry Paul, Kris Radlinski – who do you put in? I think I’ll have to go with Joe Lydon. I could pick Joe in three positions to be honest. He was the ultimate competitor, incredibly talented and just an amazing rugby league player.

2. Jason Robinson (Wigan)

Jason Robinson Wigan Warriors Alamy

I’ll have to go with Jason Robinson, I couldn’t not pick him in the team! Sometimes we’d give him the ball and just say ‘Jason, make something happen’ and he would. He was just one of those players who could do something that nobody else on the pitch could do.

3. Dean Bell (Wigan)

Dean Bell Wigan Warriors Alamy

When you come into a side that’s already an ultra competitive environment and it’s led by someone like someone like Dean, who was the pinnacle of that, then you won’t go far wrong. He was the ultimate professional, a great bloke to have in the changing rooms and had great leadership skills. He knew how to win, he could score tries, he could pass, he provide a spark. He was the ultimate centre.

4. Gary Connolly (Wigan)

Gary Connolly Wigan Warriors Alamy

I played with Inga Tuigamala, Gene Miles and Steve Renouf but I think I’d have to put Gary Connolly in there. Gary was gifted and just a natural. He could do anything in the game. I don’t think he really knew how good he was, and that was the beauty of him. He was never out of place and always able to do things anywhere on the field.

5. Martin Offiah (Wigan)

Martin Offiah Wigan Warriors Alamy

Martin knows how good he was! But you can take it from him because he was that good. Just world-class.

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6. Shaun Edwards (Wigan)

Shaun Edwards Wigan Warriors Alamy

This is a toss up between Henry Paul and Shaun Edwards but I think I’ll go with Shaun: just. He just made the team better and made everyone else better, that’s why he is such a good coach now because he knows how to make people better and that’s what he did as a player. He made people stronger and was a driving force behind a mental attitude that was success driven.

7. Andy Gregory (Wigan)

Andy Gregory Wigan Warriors Alamy

I have to go with Greg at seven because when I started playing and Greg was in the team, it was just easy for me. He made me what I was. He could put you in a hole and do incredible things with the ball but I always felt honoured to play in a team that Andy Greg was the scrum-half in. He was brilliant.

8. Andy Platt (Wigan)

Andy Platt Wigan Warriors Alamy

I just can’t not pick him in this team. Platty was just unbelievable. A great player for the team and a great bloke to have in the team. He did the hard stuff that nobody cares about and didn’t get much recognition for winning games, but a lot of the time he was the best player on the field because of his actions.

9. Martin Dermott (Wigan)

Martin Dermott Wigan Warriors Alamy

His service was phenomenal. If he didn’t give the right balls then he was in trouble, so he delivered every single week. An outstanding individual to have in your team, a quality player and very tough. Playing alongside Martin, you knew you were going to get some a bit different. Just a great player.

10. Stephen Kearney (Auckland)

Stephen Kearney New Zealand Warriors Alamy

He’s probably up there as one of the all-time players for his country, so I think Stephen Kearney would be my number 10. He played in the back-row mainly, but I’ll get onto those soon! It was hard not to pick Kelvin Skerrett and Neil Cowie, but Stephen Kearney was another level: skill, offload, ability to play, pass selection.. I could go on and on. He would do the tough stuff as well and be an enforcer. I first played against him for Great Britain against the Kiwis, but later played with him at Auckland where we got really close. He was an awesome player.

MY ULTIMATE TEAM: Former New Zealand international Elijah Taylor names his greatest 1-17 from players he’s played alongside

11. Andy Farrell (Wigan)

Andy Farrell Wigan Warriors Alamy

I think Faz is probably the best team player I’ve ever been involved with, he was unbelievable. I then coached him when was playing front-row and he won the Man of Steel. He could do whatever he wanted when he got his hands on the ball, a brilliant rugby player, 6ft 4in, could pass with both hands, could kick off both feet, tough.. What more do you want?

12. Phil Clarke (Wigan)

Phil Clarke Wigan Warriors Alamy

Phil was multi-skilled. A back-rower that could really hit the line and knew how to offload. He had a good understanding of the game and was a great defender. He was an exceptionally talented player.

13. Ellery Hanley (Wigan)

Ellery Hanley Wigan Warriors Alamy

Ellery Hanley, it’s just Ellery Hanley, isn’t it? Unbelievable player. With Jason Robinson, Martin Offiah and Ellery Hanley in your side, what does anyone else have to do? I’ve been very fortunate to be involved with players of that calibre.

READ NEXT: St Helens coach Paul Wellens selects his best 1-13 of players he’s played against including Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors legends