St Helens greatest XIII of the Super League era

Published: 15/05/2018 at 4:03pm | Author: Mike Andrews | Category: Super League

1. Paul Wellens

Arguably the best full-back in the Super League era. Wellens made his debut in ’98 and retired due to injury in 2015 after a Grand Final triumph in 2014. He had an all-round game that complimented those around him, often creating chances almost at will. He represented Great Britain and England a total of 31 times.

2. Francis Meli

Meli was an absolute beast in his time at Saints. Representing them over 200 times scoring 145 tries. He was part of the treble winning 2006 side that dominated Super League. He edges out Ade Gardner because I feel like Meli had more to his game than Gardner. He had power and strength, as well as raw speed that meant he scored immense tries on a regular basis.

3. Jamie Lyon

Lyon may have only played for Saints two seasons but in that time he became truly exceptional winning the Man of Steel award in 2005 and being a part of the treble-winning side in 2006. Ultimately he used his stint in Super League to springboard his career back to the NRL with Manly Sea Eagles.

4. Paul Newlove

Newlove to me is regarded as the best centre to have played Super League rugby alongside Keith Senior. His record in eight seasons for the Red Vee was superb and he was literally unplayable at times, making the Saints teams during those eight years very difficult to conquer. He played over 200 games and scored an incredible 134 tries. He terrified defences throughout Super League – a player this country will probably never see the like of again.

5. Darren Albert

Albert is arguably the fastest winger we have seen in Super League. He scored a superhuman 88 tries in just over 100 games for the club and was a Grand Final winner with Saints in 2002. He was highly thought of on both sides of the rugby league universe after his successful spell with Newcastle Knights.

6. Tommy Martyn

Regarded by many as the greatest stand-off in St Helens history, Martyn played just over 200 games in his 11-year stint, but in those 11 seasons he wowed the Saints faithful with some genius quality, particularly in the ’97 Challenge Cup Final where he won the Lance Todd trophy as man of the match.

7. Sean Long

From the greatest stand-off to the greatest scrum-half. Sean Long typified the class of the Saints club, winning numerous awards and trophies with his pinpoint kicking game and organisational skills. Wigan born, Long crossed enemy lines to become a legend of rugby league, scoring over 2000 points in his 12 years at Saints.

8. Maurie Fa’asavalu

The gigantic prop represented Saints for seven seasons before moving to the other code. He scored an incredible 39 tries in 164 games for the club and internationally represented England in 2008-2009 and Great Britain 2007. It’s testament to his quality that he managed those appearances despite being Samoan and turning out for them 28 times.

9. Keiron Cunningham

The King of Knowsley Road. Cunningham has to make this side despite James Roby's fantastic career to date. Almost 500 appearances for the Saints and he scored a Godly 175 tries from the hooker role. His infamous last game at Knowsley Road saw him score the winning try, which summed up his determination and never-say-die attitude in order to find a way to win.

10. James Graham

‘Jammer’ was one of the best props in the Super League, even at a young age. He held his own against the likes of Adrian Morley and Jamie Peacock. He represented Saints over 200 times before furthering his career at Canterbury Bulldogs and currently St George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL. The 32-year-old has been unlucky in Grand Finals, losing every final he’s appeared in.

11. Chris Joynt

The scorer of arguably the greatest try in British rugby league history… Wide to West. He managed a great 383 appearances for Saints from 92-04. He was a brilliant second-rower that had all the grit and graft that made him vital to the cause, which they really couldn’t do without.

12. Lee Gilmour

In truth there were a few options I could have had in this slot, but in reality only one choice made sense which gave as much as Joynt did. Gilmour was vital in the sense that he could play in a number of positions but he was most dangerous in the second row.

13. Paul Sculthorpe

Sculthorpe was the best loose forward ever to play for the Red Vee. Having his career cruelly cut short by injury, having only played 247 times for Saints, Sculthorpe had been immense to reach a point where he was respected and feared by all opposition he faced. Scully is up there with Andy Farrell and Kevin Sinfield as all-time greats of the game.

Bench

14. James Roby

15. Mike Bennett

16. Alex Walmsley

17. Leon Pryce

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