A 38-18 victory at Hull Kingston Rovers on Sunday saw the Warriors secure pole position for the first time since 2000, a feat which will see Michael Maguire’s team head for the top-eight play-offs in confident mood.
“It always takes a special effort for any club to win the Leaders’ Shield but to do so in this, one of the most competitive Engage Super League season of all, is a feat everyone at Wigan should be justifiably proud of,” said Wood.
“On behalf of the RFL I would like to extend my congratulations to the players, coaches and officials of Wigan for their achievement, one which I am sure they will all hope is the first of many for one of sport’s most famous clubs.
“There is a lot of Rugby League still to be played between now and the end of the season and no doubt we can expect more turns and twists as the year heads towards a dramatic denouement with the Engage Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford on Saturday October 2.”
Wigan have a break this weekend while Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves contest the Carnegie Challenge Cup Final at Wembley, before returning to action for the 27th and final round of the regular Engage Super League season in two weeks time.
The open nature of the competition in 2010 is highlighted by the fact that with one round remaining Wigan are one of only two clubs whose play-offs finishing places are confirmed.
St Helens and Warrington are neck and neck vying for second place; just a point separates fourth-placed Leeds and Hull FC, who have one point more than Huddersfield Giants; Hull KR are certain to finish in seventh place; and Castleford Tigers and Crusaders RL are contesting the eighth and final play-off spot.
“The last round of the season is going to be a fascinating precursor to what I fully expect will be the most gripping play-offs series we have ever seen,” added Wood.
“With a full house at Wembley for the Carnegie Challenge Cup Final we have already seen thousands of fans miss out on a classic final and my advice is for people to move quickly to secure their seat at what promises to be a historic Engage Super League Grand Final.”