Mike Nicholas’ Challenge Cup message for Warrington Wolves following 50th anniversary of own success

FORMER Warrington forward Mike Nicholas says he’d love to see Sam Burgess’ side of 2024 emulate Alex Murphy’s of 1974 by lifting the Challenge Cup at Wembley 50 years later.

Wales Rugby League president Nicholas was among those who gathered for a special lunch at the Halliwell Jones Stadium to mark the 50th anniversary of the 24-9 win over Featherstone.

Nicholas scored a try (then worth three points) from the second row, while legendary stand-off Murphy kicked two field-goals (two points apiece) to help seal victory in front of 77,400 on Saturday, May 11, 1974.

It was the fifth of Warrington’s nine Challenge Cup triumphs to date, with the most recent in 2019, when St Helens were beaten 18-4.

Burgess’ side saw off Saints 31-8 at the Totally Wicked Stadium to clinch a semi-final date with Huddersfield at the same ground on Sunday.

Former Wales international Nicholas, now 77, who helped Warrington beat Dewsbury 17-7 in the last four at Central Park, Wigan in 1974, accepts that a tough test awaits.

But he added: “They have plenty of pace and can throw the ball about nicely, and Sam has got them looking really fit.

“I thought Saints looked a bit lost at times in the quarter-finals, and hopefully Warrington can reproduce that kind of performance.”

Nicholas topped 150 games for Warrington between 1972, when he was signed from South Wales rugby union club Aberavon, and 1980, and later played for Cardiff City.

First published in League Express newspaper, Issue 3,430 (May 13, 2024)

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