JACK Hughes says bringing home the Challenge Cup felt like “the next step” in Steve Price’s reign as Warrington Wolves head coach.

Hughes – playing in the unfamiliar role of stand-off – played a huge role in The Wire’s shock 18-4 win over St Helens to earn the club a ninth Challenge Cup crown.

A second rower by trade, the 27-year-old was asked to fill in for the injured Blake Austin and he did himself proud – limiting the impact of Saints star Jonny Lomax as well as setting up a try for Ben Murdoch-Masila with some excellent slight of hand.

“Winning the Challenge Cup as a stand-off is going on the CV,” he said.

“I’m always a guy that will do what’s best for the team.

“Steve thought me filling in for Blake and tightening up our right side against a dangerous Saints left edge would be a big strong point for us.

“I thought I gave it my all out there and so did everybody else.

“You need your big players to step up in these games and ours did.

“Our pack was immense. Saints’ pack is no pushover.

“A big mention to Bryson Goodwin as well and Daryl Clark – he’s a big player and in a big game he brought it.

“It’s amazing and it feels well overdue having got to two finals last year.

“As a club, bringing a trophy home was the next step under Steve and hopefully we’ve got that bug back now.

“I think the celebrations we’ll have as a team will help with that.”

Warrington Guardian:

Jack Hughes in action at Wembley. Picture by Mike Boden

Hughes himself was a big doubt for the game after suffering a ruptured testicle in the defeat to Catalans Dragons three weeks ago.

He protected the recently-healed injury by wearing a cricket box but was never in too much doubt that he would be able to play.

“I probably knew I was going to play on Tuesday,” he said.

“The contact side of things was a bit doubtful but I got the cricket box on and tested myself out with it. I threw myself into a few tackles and it felt okay.

“The first couple of days were tough in a French hospital. My French wasn’t really up to scratch and neither was the nurse’s English.

“Luckily, the surgeon could speak really good English and he explained everything to me.

“I was pretty calm and relaxed after that. I was always confident I would make this game.”