Double delight for Wigan's Welshmen Ben Flower and Gil Dudson
12:01pm Sunday 6th October 2013 in Wales rugby and football
WALES internationals Ben Flower and Gil Dudson are in dreamland ahead of the Rugby League World Cup after winning the double with Wigan, writes Chris Kirwan.
The pair of props featured in the Warriors stunning Super League Grand Final win against Warrington at Old Trafford on Saturday.
A gripping encounter saw Wigan clamber off the canvas to take the spoils 30-16 in Manchester after trailing 16-2, becoming the first side to do the double since 2006.
Six weeks on from beating Hull in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley, the Cherry and Whites took the honours thanks to tries by Darrell Goulding, Michael McIlorum, Josh Charnley, man of the match Blake Green and Pat Richards.
And the rugby fields of Gwent can stake claim to a small assist in their remarkable season.
Flower, 25, from Abertridwr, is a former Dragons Academy player who starred alongside Lions ace Dan Lydiate before turning to league when they tried to convert him from the back row to hooker.
Dudson, 23, from Abergavenny, played league for Torfaen Tigers and Newport Titans and union for New Panteg, Pontypool United Youth and Dragons Under-18s.
The pair earned deals with Wigan after impressing while with the Crusaders in north Wales and that was shown to be shrewd business on Saturday evening.
Flower and Dudson were to the fore in a dominant second-half display by the Warriors, grafting hard, carrying with power and putting in big hits.
Once the celebrations in the north west are over, the duo will start to prepare for Wales' World Cup challenge which starts with a clash against Italy at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, October 26.
But while there was joy for Wigan's sizeable Welsh contingent – Iestyn Harris is assistant coach while Andy Powell and Rhodri Lloyd were not in the matchday squad – there was yet more despair for Lee Briers.
The veteran Warrington stand-off, who won 23 Wales caps, set up two tries but it wasn't enough to prevent the Wolves falling short in a Grand Final for the second successive year.
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