1996 season: In stats

As Super League celebrates the anniversary of its 25th season this week, Club Historian Keith Sutch delves back into the records to look at the stats from the first season in 1996.

General facts

  • It was the first introduction of playing squad numbers of 1-25
  • It was the first first season that Wigan did not give a debut to anyone
  • 1996 was the first time the name change went to ‘Wigan Warriors’
  • Andy Farrell was named club captain
  • Graham West was Wigan’s Head Coach
  • Wigan’s first Super League game was at Boundary Park against Oldham Bears, which they won 56-16. Gary Connolly scored a hat-trick, whilst Martin Offiah, Kris Radlinski and Shaun Edwards all scored twice
  • Wigan’s first home Super League game was at Central Park against Warrington, which they won 42-12
  • Andy Farrell, Martin Hall, Simon Houghton and Terry O’Connor were the only players to be ever present in all 22 league games
  • Jason Robinson was the top try scorer with 26 touch downs
  • Andy Farrell was the top points scorer with 254 points
  • Wigan finished in second place in the league behind St Helens, but beat Saints in the inaugural Premiership Final at Old Trafford
Jason Robinson scoring one of his two tries vs St Helens at Central Park in June 1996.

1996 Super League final standings

  1. St Helens
  2. Wigan Warriors (won the Premiership Trophy Final)
  3. Bradford Bulls
  4. London Broncos
  5. Warrington Wolves
  6. Halifax Bluesocks
  7. Sheffield Eagles
  8. Oldham Bears
  9. Castleford Tigers
  10. Leeds
  11. Paris St Germain
  12. Workington Town (relegated)

Wigan’s 30-man squad

  1. Kris Radlinski
  2. Jason Robinson
  3. Va’aiga Tuigamala
  4. Gary Connolly
  5. Martin Offiah
  6. Henry Paul
  7. Shaun Edwards
  8. Kelvin Skerrett
  9. Martin Hall
  10. Terry O’Connor
  11. Simon Haughton
  12. Mick Cassidy
  13. Andy Farrell
  14. Rob Smyth
  15. Danny Ellison
  16. Scott Quinnell
  17. Andy Johnson
  18. Craig Murdock
  19. Martin Dermott
  20. Daryl Cardiss
  21. Nigel Wright
  22. Andy Craig
  23. Steve Barrow
  24. Paul Johnson
  25. Matt Knowles
  26. Shem Tatupu
  27. Neil Cowie
  28. Sean Long
  29. Neil Baynes
  30. Gaël Tallec
Legend Billy Boston leads out the Wigan team for the Wigan-Saints derby on 21st June 1996 at Central Park

League stats

  • Played 22 games
  • Won 19 games
  • Lost 2 games (vs St Helens and Bradford Bulls)
  • Drew 1 game (vs London Broncos)
  • Points For: 902 (second best attack)
  • Points Against: 326 (best defence)
  • League points: 39 (finished in 2nd place)

Stand-out games

  • Wigan’s first game against PSG was at Central Park on 5th May as they won won 76-8, with Henry Paul and Rob Smyth scoring hat-tricks. The reverse fixture took place on 20th July and Wigan won 4-20.
  • Jason Robinson scored five tries against Leeds on 9th August
  • Wigan beat Workington 78-4 at Central Park on 24th August and Steve Barry came off the bench and scored a hat-trick. Henry Paul scored a hat-trick in the same game
  • Shaun Edwards scored four tries vs Bradford Bulls in the Play-Off Semi-Final
  • Danny Ellison scored a hat-trick in the Premiership Trophy Final win over St Helens at Old Trafford
Gary Connolly in action for Wigan vs Paris St Germain at Central Park on 5th May 1996

Andy Farrell

  • Captain Farrell was named the 1996 Man of Steel
  • He was also awarded the Man of the Match Harry Sunderland Trophy in the Premiership Final

League and Play-Off stats

  • 24 games
  • 5 tries, 112 goals, 244 points
Andy Farrell parades the Premiership Trophy and the Harry Sunderland Man of the Match Award.


  • The highest home attendance at Central Park came against St Helens on 21st June, where 20,429 fans watched on
  • The highest away attendance came at Bradford on 12th July as 17,360 spectators were inside Odsal Stadium
  • The Premiership Final at Old Trafford saw 35,013 fans in attendance

Highlights and full games of the first Super League season in 1996, including the opening game against Oldham, the derby at Central Park, the Play-Off Semi-Final vs Bradford and the Premiership Trophy Final win over St Helens are all available to watch now on the Wigan TV homepage.

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All stats provided by Club Historian Keith Sutch