As the 2015 Super League season comes to an end our writers have taken the time to put together their own Dream Teams. Here they are:
SEAN HAYES – @SHayesNBL
Zak Hardaker, Jermaine McGillvary, Kallum Watkins, Joe Wardle, Joe Burgess, Danny Maguire, Luke Gale, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Chris Hill, Zeb Taia, John Bateman, Adam Cuthbertson
ADAM LEAH – @adamleah
Zak Hardaker (Leeds), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield), Kallum Watkins (Leeds), Joe Wardle (Huddersfield), Joe Burgess (Wigan), George Williams (Wigan), Danny Brough (Huddersfield), Chris Hill (Warrington), James Roby (St Helens), Alex Walmsley (St Helens), Zeb Taia (Catalans), Ben Currie (Warrington), Adam Cuthbertson (Leeds).
Not too dissimilar from the official Dream Team, my selection includes all Man of Steel and Young Player of the Year nominees.
Despite a season to forget for Warrington, Chris Hill and Ben Currie have been outstanding and carried the team at times. Zeb Taia has impressed for Catalans and was scoring for fun in the first half of the campaign.
Picking the half-back combination was difficult and Danny McGuire and Luke Gale are definitely unfortunate to miss out. George Williams has been exciting to watch this season and has a bright future ahead of him, as does Joe Burgess who will face a big challenge in the NRL next season to match this year’s scoring feat.
JOSH CHAPMAN – @JRCSport
Zak Hardaker, Jermaine McGilivary, Michael Shenton, Joe Wardle, Denny Solomona, Danny Brough, Luke Gale, Adam Cuthbertson, James Roby, Chris Hill, John Bateman, Carl Ablett, Joe Westerman
CHARLIE ELLIS – @CharlieEllis88
Full Back – Zak Hardaker. Easily the best full back in Super League XX, Hardaker has been a key component to the Rhinos League Leaders Shield and Challenge Cup wins this season, particularly impressing with his defensive efforts.
Right Wing – Jermaine McGillvary. An ever-present for the Giants this season, McGillvary’s 27 touch downs make him Super League’s leading try scorer this season and impossible to omit.
Left Wing – Ryan Hall. Just edging out Joe Burgess is Ryan Hall, the pair have similar stats for the season, but Hall often grabs a four-pointer in the big games – exemplified by last week’s League Leaders Shield winner on the hooter at Huddersfield.
Right Centre – Tom Lineham. Second top try scorer this season with 25 for a team who only managed 87 in the first 23 rounds.
Left Centre – Michael Shenton. The Castleford skipper has been superb all season for the Tigers, finishing the season with a better than a try every other game ratio.
Stand Off – Danny Brough. Brough has been in fine form again in 2015 and he certainly makes the Giants tick and with 31 try assists for the campaign cannot be overlooked.
Scrum Half – Luke Gale. Impressive all season but sensational the last five or six weeks and definitely deserving of a call-up to Steve McNamara’s England squad against the Kiwis this Autumn.
Back Row – Liam Farrell. Never seems to have a bad game and contributed 12 tries to Wigan’s top four push.
Back Row – Mark Minichello. Minichello was the highest metre-making second rower in Super League this season and made just shy of 750 tackles in 27 games and just edges out Ben Currie for a spot in the starting XIII.
Hooker – James Roby. James Roby is the definition of consistency and is the obvious choice at number 9.
Loose Forward – Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook. LMS is another big metre-maker and tackler who never seems to have an off day.
Prop Forward – Adam Cuthbertson. With almost twice as many offloads as any other player in Super League this season, Cuthbertson has added a new dimension to the Rhinos attack in his debut season. He is 8th on the most metres made list and 11th in terms of most tackles this season.
Prop Forward – Alex Walmsley. The third of the trio of Man of Steel contenders to make my team, Walmsley is Super League’s top metre-maker and hugely missed by Saints when he’s not in the side.
ROB CONLON – @RobConlon25
- Zak Hardaker – While his inclusion in the 2014 Dream Team ahead of Morgan Escare was criticised, the Leeds Rhinos full-back has removed any doubt he is the best in the league. Should be picked for England.
- Jermaine McGilvary – The league’s top try scorer has been ruthless in attack and has shored up some of his past defensive frailties. Another to have earned a shot with England.
- Kallum Watkins – On his day the most naturally gifted player in the country. Explosive power, footwork and skill – the perfect centre. Now his challenge is to prove he is one of the best in the world.
- Joel Moon – Often outshone by his Rhinos’ centre partner Watkins, the Australian plays like he is made out of silk. Glides around the pitch and is an underrated, tough defender.
- Joe Burgess – Grew in confidence after a slow start to the campaign to show why he is bound for the NRL. Possibly the most exciting finisher in Super League.
- Danny McGuire – Injuries have forced the veteran to completely alter his game, but the 32-year-old oozes class and has developed into a fine leader at Headingley.
- Luke Gale – Has finally had a chance to play in a team on the front foot, and as a result has displayed his attacking capabilities in addition to his organisational skills. England contender.
- Chris Hill – Relentless. While Warrington have had a season to forget, Hill has consistently lived up to his own high standards. The Wolves are significantly weaker with the 27-year-old off the field.
- James Roby – The Super League’s best ever hooker? Perhaps Roby’s coach would have something to say about that. Preposterous engine and the heartbeat of St Helens.
- Alex Walmsley – Destined for an England spot. Has made more metres than anybody else in Super League and is the cornerstone of the Saints pack
- John Bateman – Combative, skilful and gets stuck in. Everything you want from a second row. Has also operated at centre and proved just as effective.
- Mark Minichiello – May not have made many headlines but is one of the signings of the season. Brilliant work rate and has set a great example to the Hull FC youngsters.
- Adam Cuthbertson – THE signing of the season. Has singlehandedly revolutionised the way Leeds play. Almost double the amount of offloads than the next best and has set a record only he can beat. My pick for Man of Steel.
IAN JUDSON – @judson_ian
Full-Back: Zak Hardaker, The Leeds Rhinos number 1 has had an outstanding season including being shortlisted for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel award and being touted to takeover as England full-back from NRL flop Sam Tomkins.
Right Wing: Tom Lineham, He has produced several magic moments which persuaded Warrington Wolves chairman Simon Moran to part with £140,000 to take him to the Halliwell Jones Stadium for 2016.
Right Centre: Kallum Watkins, A shoe in for the England squad the Leeds Centre has once again terrorised opposition defences this year and also filled in at full-back for the Rhinos when Hardaker was out injured showing he can switch position when needed.
Left Centre: Mark Percival, The Saints Centre might be a bit of a forgotten man in Super League but when called upon by the Champions he never lets anyone down, he has pace and a good boot on him.
Left Wing: Denny Solomona, The Castleford wing man has become something of a cult hero to Tigers fans with his explosive pace and some genuinely spectacular finishes which will undoubtedly live long in the memory.
Stand-Off Half: George Williams, The Wigan Warriors youngster was seen as something of a gamble being given the Warriors famous number 6 shirt but he has dealt with it with great maturity beyond his tender age.
Scrum- Half: Theo Fages, The Saints-bound half back has been one of only two players from the soap-opera that is Salford Red Devils with credit in-tact and shown he will be a quality acquisition for the current Champions where hopefully he will flourish in a much more professional and settled environment.
Prop: Adam Cuthbertson, He has made Leeds a much more dangerous prospect with his offloading game creating chances galore for a very potent attacking threat particularly in the three-quarters.
Hooker: Adam Milner, The Castleford number 9 has filled the void left by the departure of reigning SPMoS Daryl Clark and done it with genuine quality to the point that Clark hasn’t really been missed, a very proud season.
Prop: Liam Watts, The Hull FC enforcer has been easily the most improved prop in Super League, excellent in defence and a definite threat going forward he has a wicked offload which maybe doesn’t get used enough but always gives 110% for the cause.
2nd Row: John Bateman, The Wigan Warriors man must be a definite for the England squad in the Autumn, he has some of the handling skills of a Centre and can be relied on to unlock a defence.
2nd Row: Mark Minichiello, The Australian legend has had a quality first season in Super League considering the struggles that Hull FC have endured, seen as an Australian elder statesman coming here for a pension he has definitely proved nothing could be further from the truth.
Loose Forward: Ben Currie, He has been a definite revelation in a Warrington Wolves side that has struggled more than most experts expected, he has a definite turn of pace and can produce a moment of magic out of nothing.
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