Who's in your Wigan Warriors team of the decade? - Part I: Backs

It’s been an incredible decade for Wigan, winning a trophy – or reaching a final – in all but one of their 10 seasons. But who would get in your Warriors team of the decade?

Here are some contenders from the backs. Email your line-up to [email protected] or tweet him @PWilkinsonWIG and, once the votes are in, the winning line-up will be revealed...


Sam Tomkins started the decade in the No.6 shirt but new coach Michael Maguire moved the jet-heeled Wiganer to full-back – and he has not looked back. By 2012 and ‘13, he was at his scorching best, and was hailed as the Lionel Messi of rugby league by footballer Rio Ferdinand. Tomkins’ Wigan career was interrupted by two years in the NRL, during which time Matty Bowen had the full-back role, and he lit up many dull matches with his zip and skills.

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Tomkins’ return also saw Morgan Escare join and he had his moments, including winning the World Club Challenge in 2017, but fell out of favour last year when Zak Hardaker took on the role, successfully, landing Wigan’s Player of the Year and a recall to the Test side.


Aussie marksman Pat Richards won the Man of Steel in 2010 for his try – and goal – scoring exploits, and bowed out of the club as a Grand Final winner in ‘13 as one of the club's finest ever overseas recruits.

Academy-product Joe Burgess proved his successor on the left flank, where he sparkled for two years before moving to the NRL for a year; he returned in ‘17 to score a hat-trick in the World Club Challenge.

Josh Charnley, now at Warrington after a brief code switch, was close to averaging a try a match during his seven years with the Warriors from 2010. Since his exit, Dom Manfredi has had the greater success on the right wing though his career was derailed by successive knee injuries, during which time Liam Marshall has been given a chance.


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All of these centres won trophies; all brought different qualities to the side. Martin Gleeson, for his flick pass and step, step, step during 2010.

George Carmont, for his class and U-turn, U-turn... oh how we wish he had deferred retirement another year. Darrell Goulding quietly went about his business – Anthony Gelling was the opposite, providing as many memorable moments for his off-pitch character as on-pitch exploits.

Dan Sarginson joined from London as a 'project player' and soon made it into the England set-up. Like Tomkins and Burgess, had two spells at the club before moving on at the end of last season. And Oliver Gildart, a potent attacking threat on the left side, has now completed five years in the first-team, during which he has also become the country’s first-pick centre.


Two Aussies and a Wiganer make up this shortlist. Brett Finch was one of three who joined from Melbourne in Maguire’s second year and the chirpy former NSW star helped Wigan to Challenge Cup glory in 2011.

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Blake Green took over the role, arriving from Hull KR, and he proved popular with team-mates and many fans. His commanding displays brought him to the attention of NRL clubs and he has since played for three clubs Down Under – during which time George Williams made the No.6 role his own.


There are three on this list but, really, Thomas Leuluai would be the overwhelming favourite to top the vote. The Kiwi with the dynamite shoulders pulled the strings in the first three years of the decade, and since his return in ‘17.

Wiganer Paul Deacon had the distinction of being Maguire’s only signing for his first year, and won Grand Final and Challenge Cup honours in his two years before retiring, while Matty Smith – who this week signed for Widnes – had four years as the Warriors’ No.7, during which time he was picked in the DreamTeam, won the Lance Todd Trophy and claimed England honours.

Now pick your forwards - hereEmail your Wigan team of the decade to [email protected] - the votes will be counted and the line-up will be revealed later this month.