Wigan being top of the league is nothing ordinary for rugby league. In some aspects, it’s almost natural given their rich history in the sport.
But last year, when the Warriors won the Grand Final against all the odds amidst a crippling injury list, it was hard not to admire the job Shaun Wane did with so much talent sat on the sidelines.
And this year, things haven’t got any easier – in fact, they’ve arguably got tougher. Dan Sarginson, Matty Smith, Dom Crosby, Lee Mossop and Josh Charnley left, long-term injury victims remain on the sidelines and to compound that misery, more of their big names have been struck down by injury.
And we’ve done the sums and it turns out Wigan have over 1200 games worth of Super League experience sat on the sidelines – all this while they’re the last remaining unbeaten side in the competition. It’s an incredible feat – and here’s how the numbers add up:
- Sean O’Loughlin – 340 Super League appearances
- Michael McIlorum – 190 SL apps
- Liam Farrell – 161
- Sam Tomkins – 143
- John Bateman – 109
- Ryan Sutton – 56
- Joe Burgess – 55
- Dom Manfredi – 53
- Oliver Gildart – 38
- Lewis Tierney – 28
- Connor Farrell – 21
- Jake Shorrocks – 13
- Jack Wells – 4
That adds up to a whopping 1215 appearances in Super League: and that doesn’t include Challenge Cup or international games – or in the case of someone like Tomkins or Burgess, their games for other sides in the NRL. It’s a staggering feat from Wane’s Warriors to have battled to the top of the league – can they stay there this weekend?
If they do, this remarkable run will continue.