Three greatest Wigan RL players of all time

Wigan have enjoyed plenty of success in the 21st century and the club has many modern day legends.

However, Wigan’s greatest periods were in the past and some of the sport’s greatest ever players have represented them over the years.

Although it’s hard to image for people of a certain age, rugby league existed before the Super League came about and it was arguably a much tougher sport.

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So we have taken on the difficult task of naming Wigan Rugby League’s greatest three players of all time.

As you can imagine there were plenty to choose from with the likes of Martin Offiah, Andy Farrell and Andy Gregory somehow not making the list.

1. Ellery Hanley 

Ellery Hanley made a big name in the rugby league with his incredible performances for some of the best teams he remained associated with. The English loose forward played for Bradford Northern, Balmain Tigers, Western Suburbs, and Leeds over a 19-year career. However, he achieved his greatest success at Wigan Warriors, which he joined in 1985.

‘The Black Pearl’ showed his true potential at Wigan in his second season, when he scored a stunning 64 tries. He also played a greatly important role for The Pies during the 1986-87 season when they claimed their first Championship in 27 years. The great player went on to win the Man of Steel award that campaign.

Hanley was also part of the Wigan team that defeated New Zealand during their tour of Great Britain. Following his retirement, he took to coaching and had spells at Great Britain, St Helens, and Doncaster.

2. Billy Boston 

Billy Boston is widely regarded as one of the greatest rugby league players of all time. Boston was born in Cardiff and his dream was to represent Wales one day. After signing for the Cherry and Whites in 1953, the Welsh player is said to have cried as he knew his aspiration to play rugby union for his country was over.

However, Boston was proved right in his decision as he went on to achieve enormous successes at Wigan during his next 15 years. The supremely talented winger/centre scored 478 tries in 488 appearances, making him one of the most successful and famous Wigan players of all time. He briefly played for Blackpool Borough before retiring from the sport entirely in 1970. He also has the distinction of representing Great Britain in 31 Test matches and being the second highest try-scorer in the history of the sport.

3. Shaun Edwards 

Shaun Edwards, the most decorated player in rugby league history, signed for Wigan in 1983. Over the years, the amazing athlete greatly enhanced his reputation and garnered huge successes at the Cherry and Whites.

Playing primarily as a scrum-half, Edwards scored 226 tries in 467 appearances for Wigan and was the man at the heart of their era of domination. He claimed a record eight championships and nine Challenge Cups while playing for his hometown club. Edwards also played for Balmain Tigers, Bradford Bulls, and London Broncos and retired from the sport in 2000. It was expected he would return to Wigan as head coach in 2020 but he made a U-turn on and remained in rugby union.

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