Wigan chief Kris Radlinski makes Warriors claim following historic Challenge Cup triumph

Ben Olawumi
Kris Radlinski, Wigan Warriors' 2024 Challenge Cup lift

CEO Kris Radlinski believes Wigan Warriors' historic Challenge Cup triumph will see them remembered for years to come

Having joined a very exclusive group of clubs to hold every possible major honour at once as they lifted the Challenge Cup, Wigan Warriors CEO Kris Radlinski believes their team will be remembered for years to come.

Prior to Saturday’s 18-8 triumph against Warrington Wolves at Wembley, the Cherry & Whites were already in possession of the League Leaders’ Shield, Super League title & World Club Challenge crown.

The first of those three, the League Leaders’ Shield, was won back on September 22, 2023 following a victory at Leigh Leopards.

And having beaten Warrington under the arch, it means that Matt Peet’s side have now won every possible major honour in the space of circa eight-and-a-half months, with this also the first competition the club have now triumphed twice in under Peet’s tutelage.

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Wigan chief Kris Radlinski makes Warriors claim following historic Challenge Cup triumph

The Warriors become just the third club in the Super League era to be in possession of all four major honours at once, following on from two legendary sides of the 2000’s in Bradford Bulls & St Helens.

Peet’s squad also become just the sixth side in the history of the sport to achieve the feat, with Wigan themselves doing so on three separate occasions prior to the dawn of the summer era.

Hailing the achievement post-match at Wembley, Radlinski said: “It’s huge. This team will now be remembered for 10, 15, 25 years… this team did it, and they did it in a good manner.

“Matt referenced it all week… he said (to the players), ‘they (Warrington) are a good team, but you’ve got an opportunity to become a great team just by getting that one, so they (the Wigan squad) have not shied away from that this week.

“It was very much the motivation, and it was professional, wasn’t it? I’ve been amongst the group this week, and we started the week with nerves, but when you’re with them they are so calm and focused, and that just takes everything away.

“I have to say they are a pretty special bunch these men, the bond, how close they are as friends: it’s pretty amazing to see.

“I’ve never seen a group like it, in all my career at the club, they are as tight as I’ve seen. I was probably pretty confident going into the game that we’d do it.”

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‘Matt is just an impressive individual, and is going to get better and better’

48-year-old Radlinski made more than 300 appearances for Wigan, his hometown club, in his own playing career and has seven major honours to show for it as well as a Regal Trophy winners’ medal.

That tally of seven includes a Challenge Cup, won in 2002 with a 21-12 victory in the competition’s final against bitter rivals St Helens at Murrayfield.

At full-back, Radlinski put in a man of the match showing in Edinburgh, winning the Lance Todd Trophy as a result.

Star half-back Bevan French was the recipient of that trophy in Saturday’s success against Warrington, and the Warriors chief has highlighted the importance of those individual pieces of recognition too, crediting boss Peet for them.

Radlinski added: “We are sitting with the Man of Steel (French) as well and we are sitting on the Lance Todd Trophy winner (French) as well.

“Abbas (Miski) was Super League’s top try-scorer (in 2023, jointly alongside Catalans Dragons’ Tom Johnstone), so we’ve almost got the individual awards tied up as well, which is amazing and all testament to Matt.

“He is just an impressive individual and is going to get better and better. We’ll support him in getting better and better, and he is very much part of a huge future for the club.”

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