Wigan’s Zach Eckersley: Rising Star in Rugby League’s Challenge Cup Final

Rugby League News: Wigan’s Zach Eckersley Poised for Challenge Cup Final Debut

With Wigan Warriors center Adam Keighran facing a three-match ban, homegrown talent Zach Eckersley could be in line to make his Challenge Cup final debut on Saturday. The imposing 20-year-old put in a strong performance last weekend, stepping up in Keighran’s absence and underlining his rich potential.

Eckersley, who hails from Oldham, has steadily progressed through Wigan’s youth system, impressing at the Academy and Reserve levels. Having made his Super League debut last August, the young center has continued to earn the trust of head coach Matt Peet, featuring regularly in the 2024 campaign.

Eckersley’s physicality and speed, combined with his well-rounded skillset, have caught the eye of Wigan’s coaching staff. Academy head coach John Duffy lauded the youngster’s development, stating that he is “very, very skilful” and has been pushing the established centers, Adam Keighran and Jake Wardle, in training.

“Zach Eckersley is very, very skilful and has been pushing the established centers in training.”

  • John Duffy, Wigan Warriors Academy Head Coach

The Oldham native’s Championship experience, which included five tries in eight appearances for Widnes Vikings last year, has proved invaluable in his transition to the top flight. Duffy believes this has “stood him in good stead” and prepared him for the rigors of the Super League.

With a chance to feature in the Challenge Cup final in front of a capacity crowd at Wembley Stadium, Eckersley’s potential could reach new heights. Peet has shown faith in Wigan’s youth, and Duffy admits the prospect of the young center running out at the iconic venue “makes the hairs on the back of [his] neck stand up.”

Whether Eckersley secures a starting berth or not, his continued development and the opportunity to compete in a prestigious final will undoubtedly be a proud moment for the player, his family, and the Wigan Warriors organization.

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