Liam Farrell: Wigan Warriors forward out to emulate Challenge Cup legends in final

Wigan's class of 2022 hope to emulate the dominant Challenge Cup-winning sides of the past when they face Huddersfield in Saturday's final, says stand-in captain Liam Farrell.

No team has lifted the trophy more times than Wigan's 19, including a run of consecutive wins from 1988 to 1995.

However, it is nine years since a Wigan captain last hoisted the cup aloft.

"You can't deny the club's got a rich history with the Challenge Cup," Farrell told BBC Radio Manchester.

"The teams of the late '80s and early '90s, they had such dominance.

"This team is trying to make our own history. We're a completely different set of blokes.

"They earned their part in history in their own right, and we are trying to make sure we play our part and get our name on the trophy."

From junior to senior

Graeme West, Dean Bell and Eric Ashton
Three Wigan captains Liam Farrell hopes to emulate - Graeme West, Dean Bell and Eric Ashton

Farrell, a distant cousin of former Wigan skipper Andy - one of 11 to have lifted the men's Challenge Cup for the club - is deputising as captain in place of the injured Thomas Leuluai, who has been named in the initial 21-man squad.

It is an honour he is proud of, having been a fan when Kris Radlinski helped the Warriors to victory in the final 20 years ago.

From Jack Price in 1924, through the likes of Jim Sullivan, Eric Ashton, Graeme West and Ellery Hanley - to current assistant coach Sean O'Loughlin, who was the last in 2013 - there have been some stellar names leading the team up to the Royal Box.

Armband or not, the 31-year-old is certainly a leader within the ranks now compared with his first two appearances back in 2011 and 2013.

He will be the guiding hand for talent such as Morgan Smithies, Liam Byrne and Ethan Havard, who now provide the energy to the squad.

"The first two I played in, I was surrounded by a lot of senior players. I was the young one in that squad," Farrell said.

"I wouldn't say I was brought through the wins - I played my part in them - but this time around I'm a senior player.

"There are a lot of young, talented players at the club that I'd like to win a Challenge Cup for, and for the fans it's been a few years.

"I'm in a different position this time, but it's the same reward at the end and it's an exciting one."

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