Who's in your Wigan Warriors team of the decade? - Part II: Forwards
Having gone through the options in the backs, what about the pack? Sean O’Loughlin is an obvious pick, because he has been the No.13 all the way through. But elsewhere there are a few players to consider - and some quality players to leave out!
Wigan’s best props this decade – discuss!
Some made a big impact in short periods, like Stuart Fielden in 2010, for example – and who would have tipped Jeff Lima to be the Lance Todd Trophy winner before the ‘11 Wembley showdown?
A slimmed-down Iafeta Paleaaesina also continued to make an impact before his move to Hull FC, Andy Coley and Paul Prescott played their roles in early success of the decade, and Lee Mossop continued the trend of players returning to Wigan from brief stints in the NRL.
Then there are three who have longevity in their favour. Ben Flower, one of Wane’s first signings, and Tony Clubb - who joined in 2014 - have given great service over the years, while Ryan Sutton chalked up more than a century of appearances before switching to Canberra last season.
Tough-tackling Micky McIlorum took over from Mark Riddell and celebrated a testimonial before moving to Catalans. His menacing defence made him a popular figure but, when he was injured in 2016, Sam Powell won the club’s Players’ Player of the Year for stepping up to the role. He has since taken over as the No.9 and last season his form scaled new heights, with his dropgoal at Hull KR arguably the turning point in Wigan's campaign.
Such is the abundance of riches in the backrow, some quality players will inevitably miss out. Gareth Hock returned to his brilliant best in 2012 before departing – a year after ex-Melbourne man Ryan Hoffman had made an impact during a solitary season.
Others had much longer spells at the club, with one of those – Joel Tomkins – providing one of the moments of the decade with his stunning try at Wembley in ‘12. Harrison Hansen and, more recently, Willie Isa have given good service to Wigan.
Liam Farrell, about to enter his testimonial year, broke into the side in ‘10 and went on to establish himself on the left edge – his absence from the Test side in recent years has mystified many – while John Bateman flourished after signing from Bradford, and many Wigan fans have taken great pride from seeing him take the NRL by storm. O’Loughlin, captain and loose forward since before the turn of the decade, completes the side.
Email your team to [email protected] and once the votes are in, the winning line-up will be revealed...