The best 13 Wigan players of all-time

We’ve picked out 13 of Wigan’s greatest ever players. 

Sam Tomkins

Tomkins is one of the best players of the Super League era, without a shadow of a doubt. He burst on to the scene in 2008 and scored 144 tries in 152 games for Wigan before joining New Zealand Warriors in 2014.

The half-back turned full-back re-joined Wigan in 2016, where he made another 61 appearances. He won three Grand Finals and two Challenge Cups with the Warriors.

Gary Connolly

Connolly started his career as a full-back but he starred in the centres for Wigan after crossing Billinge Hill for £250,000 from rivals St Helens in 1993.

The 31-time Great Britain international scored 136 in 309 appearances for the Warriors and was named in the Super League Dream Team on four occasions.

Jim Sullivan

Everyone has heard of Sullivan. The Welshman joined Wigan as a 17-year-old and went on to make a staggering 774 appearances for the club, kicking 2,317 goals.

The full-back will forever be regarded as a legend in rugby league, having earned 25 caps for Great Britain, with 15 of them as captain. He played for the Cherry and Whites between 1921-1946.

Sean O’Loughlin

O’Loughlin will go down as one of the best players never to play in the NRL. The England captain has played 450 games for the Warriors, scoring 88 tries.

He has also earned 11 caps for Great Britain and 25 for England. He is the perfect role model for any youngster and his leadership is to be admired.

Eric Ashton

Ashton was the centre that everyone wanted in their team. He had a formidable partnership with his winger Billy Boston.

He was made captain at Wigan at the young age of 22 and went on to score 231 tries and kick 448 goals in 497 appearances between 1955-1969.

Kris Radlinski

Radlinski is a Wigan legend. The classy full-back scored 183 tries in 312 appearances for the Warriors between 1993-06 while rejecting rugby union offers to remain with his hometown club.

He even came out of retirement to play for Wigan for free during the club’s tough time when they just managed to avoid relegation from Super League in 2006.

Dean Bell

The New Zealand test captain is undoubtedly one of Wigan’s greatest ever overseas recruits. Bell scored 96 tries in 253 games for Wigan between 1986-94.

Bell was highly successful during his time with the Cherry and Whites, winning the Challenge Cup seven times and scooping the Man of Steel award in 1992.

Billy Boston

Even young rugby league fans have heard of Billy B. The Welshman became the first black player to play for Great Britain on the Lions’ 1954 tour of Australia, and earned 31 caps for GB.

Boston had an amazing try scoring record while at Wigan, scoring 478 tries in 485 games for the club between 1953-1968. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.

Andy Gregory

Gregory was born and bred in Wigan but earned his stripes at Widnes and Warrington before linking up with his hometown club in 1987, going on to make 182 appearances for Wigan.

The mercurial playmaker was extremely successful during his Wigan days, enjoying five Wembley success as well as two World Club Challenge titles.

Andy Farrell

The now Ireland Rugby Union head coach is the most famous name in this prestigious list. He made his debut for hometown club Wigan at the tender age of 16 and he didn’t take a backwards step.

Farrell was a classic ball-playing loose forward who kicked 1,355 goals in 370 appearances for Wigan between 1991-04. He won two Man of Steel awards and was captain of Great Britain by the time he turned 21.

Denis Betts

The Salfordian was signed by Wigan as a youngster from Leigh Miners community club and he soon became one of England’s best back-rowers there has been.

Betts enjoyed two spells at Wigan between 1986-95 and 1998-01, with a three-year stint at Auckland Warriors between those. Betts earned 32 caps for Great Britain and was also named Man of Steel in 1995.

Ellery Hanley

The Black Pearl is one of the best players the game has seen. He joined Wigan from Bradford for a world-record fee in 1985 and he spent six years at Central Park.

Hanley donned the famous 13 jersey, and scored an incredible 189 times in 202 appearances for Wigan. He captained Wigan to three Challenge Cup wins during his time there.

Shaun Edwards

The half-back is the most decorated rugby league player ever, with 37 winners’ medals to his name. He had a lethal combination in the halves with Andy Gregory, with the pair guiding Wigan to trophy after trophy in the 1980s.

Edwards scored 274 tries in 467 appearances for his hometown club and lifted the Challenge Cup on nine occasions. He played 36 times for Great Britain on the international stage.

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    • You are right without any shadow of a doubt Brian Bevan Van Vollenhoven etc played in a much different game and the defences and covering were nowhere near as good as they were in the modern game.

  1. It’s an impossible task, there are far too many magical players to name just 13. I can’t name my team of 13 magic players and can’t see how anyone else where every body else agrees.

  2. I know whittling down to 13 is a bloody hard task, but their’s a distinct lack of front row recognition: McTigue, Gee, Newton…

    As others have said, Offiah and Robinson are notable by their absence and I’d make a case for Frano Botica until my voice went.

  3. Billy Boston said that Bill Ashurst was a 6ft 3 second row forward who had the football skills to be the best stand off in the world! Unfortunately for Bill the team he played in did not have the success his talents deserved, therefore he tends to get overlooked.

  4. The best thing about this list (plus comments so far about omissions) is the complete and fully justified absence of Alex Murphy!

  5. O’loughlin and tomkins very good players no disputing that but not in the great bracket like some not mentioned Kenny offiah Robinson

    • Couldn’t agree more there is not a player playing super league now as good as some of the players no mentioned in this list disgraceful

  6. All mentioning offiah I can’t agree with. Top class athlete but great player is a bit much and you can come out with tries per game as much as you want but he played in a totally dominant team.

    • Yes that is true but he still scored loads of tries out of nothing often beating several players they certainly were not all walk in’s or straight forward overlaps in the Brian Bevan and Tom Van Vollenhoven days when the cover was poor

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