20 May 2020
Reload: Stephen Wild
For this week's Throwback Thursday piece, we look at the career of Stephen Wild
Ahead of the tie between the Giants and the Warriors this Friday, we take a look back at the career of a former player for both sides, Stephen Wild.
Wild began his career in the North West playing for the Wigan Warriors. He made his debut on the 9th September 2001, starting as a substitute in a 30-22 win over the Castleford Tigers. He featured in two more games that season, a win in the derby against St Helens, whilst Wigan also beat Hull FC in the playoffs. His side were beaten in the Grand Final, 37-6, by the Bradford Bulls.
The second rower featured more heavily in the 2002 season, featuring 18 times in the Super League and also three times in the Challenge Cup. Wigan won the Challenge Cup in the 2002 season, beating rivals St Helens 21-12 in the final at Murrayfield. Wild scored eight tries in his breakout season for the cherry and whites.
The following season, Wild didn’t feature as much as he would’ve hoped to. He featured in nine Super League games in the 2003 season, as well as three Challenge Cup games. Wigan did reach the Super League grand final that season, but Wild didn’t feature, as his side were once again beaten by the Bradford Bulls.
The following season, Wild was a regular in the Warriors’ side, he featured 30 times in the Super League for his hometown club, as well as four Challenge Cup appearances. This 2004 season saw his side reach another Challenge Cup final. This time Wild was on the bench for the final, as St Helens got revenge for what happened two years earlier, as they beat the Warriors 32-16 at the Millennium Stadium.
The 2005 season was Wild’s final season in the famous cherry and white. His final season was the first season since his first game for the club, that the Warriors hadn’t featured in either a Grand, or Challenge Cup, final. He featured 28 times in the Super League during his final season, scoring six tries. He also scored three tries in three games in his final Challenge Cup spell at Wigan.
Wild then moved to the other side of the Pennines, to join the Huddersfield Giants ahead of the 2006 Super League season. Like his stint as Wigan, Wild spent five years playing in West Yorkshire.
His first season at the Giants saw him feature heavily, as his new side reached the Challenge Cup final. Huddersfield were beaten 42-12 by St Helens at Twickenham. During the season, the second rower played 26 times in the league, scoring eight tries. He also scored once during his four games in the Challenge Cup, as he featured in the final.
His second season at the West Yorkshire side was his best try scoring wise. Wild scored 15 times in 28 Super League games, as his side finished fifth in the table. He also scored once in his three Challenge Cup ties, as the Giants were eliminated at the quarter final stage.
Wild featured 19 times in the 2008 Super League season, scoring twice however he didn’t play in the Challenge Cup that season.
In his penultimate season with the Giants, Wild once again helped his side to reach the Challenge Cup final. Unfortunately, the Giants were beaten 25-16 by the Warrington Wolves at Wembley. The final was one of four appearances for Wild in the competition that season, as he started in the second row. He scored four tries in four games for Huddersfield during their run. He also featured in more Super League games than the previous season, appearing 26 times scoring four tries, helping the Giants to an impressive third placed finish.
2010 was to be Wild’s final season in a Giants shirt. He featured 19 times in the Super League scoring four times, as the Giants finished fifth. He then moved to the Salford Red Devils ahead of the 2011 season.
Wild spent the final three years of his Super League career in Greater Manchester. The 2011 season saw him feature 21 times for the Red Devils in the Super League, scoring once. He also played in one Challenge Cup tie in his debut season at Salford.
His second season saw him feature more for Salford. Wild played 27 times, scoring once, whilst also playing once in the Challenge Cup like the season before. For the second year in a row, the Red Devils finished the season in 11th place.
The 2013 season with Wild’s final year as a Super League player. He scored twice in 23 games for Salford, as well as playing once in the Challenge Cup.