Thursday XIII: Challenge Cup Kings
There’s only one path we could have gone down this week for our Thursday 13; given how it’s Challenge Cup semi-final weekend, we had to ask you for your iconic cup greats! In truth, there were a whole host of stars we could have picked from over 100 years of cup action, but we threw the challenge out to you on social media, and you certainly gave us plenty to choose from!
However, the lucky 13 have been selected, and they make up what we think is perhaps the greatest Challenge Cup side of all-time! In fact, we’re backing them to give any team in the world a run for their money. So, without further ado, let’s look at the 13 men you selected to make this week’s Thursday 13!
Paul Wellens (St Helens) – Wellens has been part of the furniture at St Helens since he debuted for the club back in 1998, and has won a whole host of Challenge Cups; some of which have come via some inspirational performances from the full-back.
Martin Offiah (Wigan Warriors) – Offiah is just one of a handful of men that has won the coveted Lance Todd Trophy on more than one occasion – which is no mean feat for a winger. A winner of the cup on four different occasions.
Neil Fox (Wakefield Trinity) – Fox is arguably the greatest goal-kicker of all-time, with his worldwide points record only being broken by Mal Meninga in the 1990s. A member of the Rugby League Hall of Fame, Fox played for the likes of Wakefield (twice) and Bradford Northern in an illustrious career.
Eric Ashton (Wigan Warriors) – Ashton won three Challenge Cups during his time with Wigan – the club he spent the whole of his career with. A prolific centre with an eye for the line, Ashton remains one of the finest centres ever to have played the game.
Tom van Vollenhoven (St Helens) – Many people are split over who was better; van Vollenhoven or the great Billy Boston. However, the St Helens flier scored perhaps the most memorable try in cup final history, going the length of the field in the 1960-61 final.
Sean Long (St Helens) – The only man to win the Lance Todd Trophy on three different occasions simply couldn’t have been excused from a team of this kind, with plenty of you polling for Sean Long’s inclusion in the side.
Shaun Edwards (Wigan Warriors) – We couldn’t leave the most decorated man in Challenge Cup history out of the equation! Nobody has won more cups than Edwards, who has picked up the trophy an astonishing nine times during his incredible career.
Don Fox (Leeds Rhinos) – A Lance Todd Trophy winner in Leeds’ 1968 success against Wakefield Trinity, Fox was a no-nonsense forward that never took a backward step. However, he is of course remembered for the missed conversion from in front of the posts that would have given Wakefield victory.
Tommy Harris (Hull) – The Welsh international is one of only two hookers to win the Lance Todd Trophy; the other being Warrington’s Michael Monaghan.
Frank Collier (Widnes and Wigan) – A former Great Britain international, Collier won the cup on two occasions, in 1958 and 1964 – in which he won the Lance Todd Trophy whilst playing for Widnes.
Paul Sculthorpe (St Helens) – During his incredible career with the Saints, Sculthorpe won a number of Challenge Cups, with the former Saints captain playing a key role in several of those victories.
David Hobbs (Featherstone Rovers) – A Lance Todd Trophy winner himself for an incredible performance in the 1983 final, the Featherstone man was one of the best second-rowers of the 1980s.
Ellery Hanley (Wigan Warriors) – A member of Wigan’s all-conquering Challenge Cup sides of the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hanley is one of the most talented British players ever to step onto a Rugby League field.