1996 Wigan RLFC season

Last updated
1996 Wigan RLFC season
Super League I Rank2nd
Play-off resultWon Premiership Final
Challenge Cup 5th round
1996 recordWins: 19; Draws: 1; Losses: 2
Points scoredFor: 902; Against: 326
Team information
ChairmanJack Robinson
Head Coach Graeme West
Stadium Central Park
<  1995–96 List of seasons 1997  >

The 1996 Wigan season was the 101st season in the club's rugby league history and the first season in the newly formed Super League. Coached by Graeme West and captained by Shaun Edwards, Wigan competed in Super League I and finished in 2nd place, but went on to win the Premiership Final at Old Trafford against St. Helens. The club also competed in the 1996 Challenge Cup, but were knocked out in the fifth round by First Division side Salford Reds, and was the first time the club had failed to win the trophy since 1987.


In July 1996 Farrell was appointed Wigan's captain.


The 1995–96 season was a shortened transitional season ahead of the switch to the Super League, which would see the league become a summer competition. Wigan won the league championship for the seventh consecutive season, and also won the final staging of the League Cup, defeating St Helens 25–16. Wigan's dominance was expected to continue in the summer era, and the club were odds-on favourites to win the inaugural Super League. [1]


1 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 222002950455+49540
2 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 221912902326+57639
3 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 221705767409+35834
4 Broncoscolours.png London Broncos 221219611462+14925
5 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 2212010569565+424
6 Faxcolours.svg Halifax Blue Sox 2210111667576+9121
7 Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Eagles 2210012599730-13120
8 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham Bears 229112473681-20819
9 Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 229013548599-5118
10 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 226016555745-19012
11 France colours.svg Paris Saint-Germain 223118398795-3977
12 Workingtoncolours.svg Workington Town 2221193251021-6965
Champions Relegated

Match results


Super League

30 March 1996 Oldham Bears Away56–16Connolly (3), Edwards (2), Offiah (2), Radlinski (2), Hall, PaulFarrell (8)7,709
5 April 1996 St. Helens Away26–41Hall (2), O'Connor, Smyth, TuigamalaPaul (3)15,883
8 April 1996 Warrington Home42–12Edwards (2), Haughton, A. Johnson, Paul, Radlinski, Smyth,Farrell (6), Paul14,620
14 April 1996 Castleford Tigers Away28–10Connolly, Farrell, Paul, Robinson, SmythFarrell (4)7,985
19 April 1996 Bradford Bulls Home22–6Craig, Haughton, Murdock, PaulFarrell (3)9,872
5 May 1996 Paris Saint-Germain Home76–8Paul (3), Smyth (3), Connolly (2), Haughton (2), Cassidy, Farrell, Murdock, RadlinskiPaul (6), Farrell (4)10,675
14 May 1996 Halifax Blue Sox Away50–4Robinson (2), Smyth (2), Cassidy, Connolly, Edwards, Haughton, MurdockFarrell (5), Hall (2)5,269
18 May 1996 Workington Town Away64–16Farrell (2), Robinson (2), Tuigamala (2), Craig, Edwards, Hall, Murdock, OffiahFarrell (8), Paul, Tuigamala3,176
29 May 1996 Sheffield Eagles Home50–6Offiah (3), Cassidy, Connolly, Hall, A.Johnson, Paul, SmythFarrell (7)9,158
1 June 1996 Leeds Away40–20Smyth (2), Murdock, Offiah, Paul, RobinsonFarrell (8)9,508
9 June 1996 London Broncos Home18–18Murdock, Robinson, TuigamalaFarrell (3)9,189
16 June 1996 Oldham Bears Home44–16Robinson (3), Smyth (2), Connolly, Ellison, Haughton, QuinnellFarrell (2), Edwards, Hall7,226
21 June 1996 St. Helens Home35–19Robinson (2), Haughton, Murdock, Smyth, TuigamalaPaul (3), Hall (2), Robinson (DG)20,429
30 June 1996 Warrington Away21–0Paul (2), Smyth (2)Connolly (2), Wright (DG)8,103
5 July 1996 Castleford Tigers Home26–25Robinson (2), A. Johnson, TuigamalaFarrell (5)8,180
12 July 1996 Bradford Bulls Away12–20Ellison, PaulFarrell (2)17,360
20 July 1996 Paris Saint-Germain Away24–20A. Johnson, Radlinski, Robinson, TuigamalaFarrell (4)5,428
26 July 1996 Halifax Blue Sox Home34–26Connolly, Ellison, Murdock, Paul, Radlinski, TuigamalaFarrell (5)8,221
3 August 1996 Sheffield Eagles Away54–12Paul (2), Connolly, Edwards, Ellison, Hall, Haughton, Murdock, RobinsonFarrell (9)5,103
9 August 1996 Leeds Home68–14Robinson (5), Connolly (2), Edwards (2), Cowie, Murdock, Radlinski, TuigamalaFarrell (8)7,814
17 August 1996 London Broncos Away34–13Paul (2), Edwards, A. Johnson, Robinson, TuigamalaFarrell (5)10,014
24 August 1996 Workington Town Home78–4Barrow (3), Paul (3), Edwards (2), Haughton (2), Robinson (2), Ellison, FarrellFarrell (9), Tuigamala (2)6,466


Semi Final31 August 1996 Bradford Bulls Home42–36Edwards (4), Ellison (2), Paul, RadlinskiFarrell (5)9,878 MR
Final8 September 1996 St. Helens Neutral 44–14Ellison (3), Connolly, Edwards, Haughton, Murdock, Paul, RobinsonFarrell (4)35,013 MR

Challenge Cup

Wigan's fourth round Challenge Cup tie against Second Division side Bramley took place a week after the end of the previous season. Wigan progressed to the next round with a comfortable 74–12 win, and drew Salford Reds in the next round. Wigan lost 16–26 against their First Division opponents, ending the club's unbeaten run of 43 games in the competition, and was the first time they had been knocked out of the Challenge Cup since being defeated by Oldham in February 1987. [2] The result is considered one of the biggest upsets in the history of the competition. [3]

Fourth28 January 1996 Bramley Home74–12Offiah (4), Farrell (2), Quinnell (2), Radlinski (2), Connolly, Cowie, Robinson, TuigamalaHall (5), Paul (4)4,627 MR
Fifth11 February 1996 Salford Reds Away16–26Tuigamala (2), OffiahFarrell, Paul10,048 MR

Clash of the Codes

In addition to their league and cup exploits, Wigan took part in a special two-game series against Bath, the reigning champions of rugby union's Courage League, with one game being played under the rules of each code. Wigan won the game played under league rules at Maine Road 82-6, [4] but lost the union game at Twickenham by 44-19. [5]

League8 May 1996 Bath Neutral82–6Offiah (6), Robinson (2), O'Connor (2), Johnson (2), Paul, Cassidy, Quinnell, MurdockHall (5), Farrell (4)20,148 MR
Union25 May 1996BathNeutral19–44Murdock (2), TuigamalaFarrell (2)42,000 MR



1 Kris Radlinski 21100040
2 Jason Robinson 252601105
3 Va'aiga Tuigamala 25133058
4 Gary Connolly 25152064
5 Martin Offiah 10120048
6 Henry Paul 2322190126
7 Shaun Edwards 24171070
8 Kelvin Skerrett 120000
9 Martin Hall 26610044
10 Terry O'Connor 261004
11 Simon Haughton 26110044
12 Mick Cassidy 2530012
13 Andy Farrell 2671130254
14 Rob Smyth 17160064
15 Danny Ellison 11100040
16 Scott Quinnell 1130012
17 Andy Johnson 2150020
18 Craig Murdock 21110044
19 Martin Dermott 00000
20 Daryl Cardiss 10000
21 Nigel Wright 20011
21 Andy Craig 112008
22 Steve Barrow 1030012
22 Paul Johnson 10000
23 Matt Knowles 30000
24 Shem Tatupu 30000
25 Neil Cowie 212008
26 Sean Long 30000
27 Neil Baynes 30000
28 Gaël Tallec 10000



Stuart Lester Fullback Auckland Warriors August 1996
Stephen Holgate Second-row Workington Town £100,000December 1996
Ian Sherratt Prop forward Oldham Bears £30,000December 1996
Doc Murray Fullback Auckland Warriors December 1996


Scott Quinnell Second-row Richmond (RU)£250,000June 1996 [7]
Shem Tatupu Prop forward Northampton Saints (RU)£80,000July 1996 [8]
Martin Offiah Winger London Broncos £300,000August 1996 [9]
Martin Dermott Hooker Warrington Wolves September 1996
Andy Craig Centre Swinton Lions December 1996 [10]

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  1. Irvine, Christopher (29 March 1996). "Stones Super League - Rugby League". The Times. London. p. 46.
  2. Hadfield, Dave (12 February 1996). "Wigan wilt at The Willows". The Independent. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  3. Mordey, Tom (14 May 2015). "Challenge Cup: We look back at some of the biggest upsets". Sky Sports. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  4. Dave Hadfield (1996-05-09). "Bath feel full force of Wigan might". The Independent. Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  5. Chris Hewett (1996-05-26). "The union empire strikes back". The Independent. Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  6. Fletcher, Raymond (1997). Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1997. Headline Book Publishing. p. 142. ISBN   978-0-7472-7764-4.
  7. Huxley, John (26 May 1996). "Wigan's Strife of Bryan". Sunday Mirror. London. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  8. "Warrington pin pounds 1.35m price tag on Harris". The Independent. 24 July 1996. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  9. Richards, Martin (3 August 1996). "Bronco Offiah". The Mirror. London. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  10. Hadfield, Dave (28 December 1996). "Rugby League: Winter games' success". The Independent. Retrieved 3 February 2014.