Six Nations: Which Wiganers are involved in this year’s tournament?
The Six Nations get underway this weekend.
The opening round of fixtures sees Wales take on Ireland, England face Scotland, and Italy going head-to-head with France.
A number of Wiganers will be involved over the next few weeks, undertaking a range of roles for various countries.
Here is who to look out for during the Six Nations:
Former Wigan captain Andy Farrell is the current head coach of Ireland.
After being with the Warriors between 1991 and 2004, the 47-year-old finished his playing career in union, featuring for both Saracens and England after switching codes.
Since hanging up his boots, he has remained very much involved in sport.
He has been an assistant at Saracens, as well as a defensive coach for both England and Ireland.
Farrell took over his current role with the latter in 2019.
England captain Owen Farrell spent the early years of his life growing up in Wigan while his dad played for the Warriors.
He played his junior rugby with St Pats before making the move down south, following Andy’s move to Saracens.
Farrell forged a career in union for himself, making his debut Sarries in 2008, and has been with the club ever since.
He made his first appearance for England in 2012, and captained his country for the first time in 2018.
In total, he has won three previous Six Nations, while with his club he has won the Aviva Premiership on five occasions.
He was also named European player of the year in 2017 and 2018.
Shaun Edwards is the current defensive coach for France.
Before joining Fabien Galthié’s staff in 2019, he had undertaken a similar role with Wales for over 10 years, after previously being with London Wasps.
As a player, Edwards spent the majority of his career with Wigan, joining the club as a youngster for a huge fee.
He was part of the club’s period of dominance during the 1980s and 1990s, with his honours including three World Club Challenges, eight Championships and nine Challenge Cups.
Former Wigan scrum-half Mike Forshaw is the current defence coach for Wales.
The 53-year-old played for his hometown club between 1987 and 1993, as well as spending time with Wakefield, Leeds, Bradford and Warrington before hanging up his boots.
He returned to the Warriors in 2006 in the role of strength and conditioning coach.
After spending the last decade with Sale Sharks, he was offered a role with Wales ahead of the upcoming Six Nations.
Wiganer Paul Stridgeon, who attended St John Fisher, is the head of physical performance for Wales.
The former Commonwealth Games wrestler has also worked with Wasps, Toulon, England, and the British and Irish Lions.
Mark Bitcon joined his hometown club Wigan from rugby union in 2009, and spent nine years as director of performance with the first team.
He is currently the head of athletic performance and innovation with England rugby, having taken over the role last year.