I'd begin a team towards the 2017 RLWC.
Full back I'd go Sam Tomkins. Best full back we have IMO slightly ahead of Hardaker but there isn't much in it. The best part of Tomkins game is getting the ball to his three quarters which I think he is the best in the world at. We should have centres to do damage and with Tomkins being the perfect link between the half backs and them I would choose him ahead of Hardaker.
Wingers I'd go for Ryan Hall and Joe Burgess. Ryan Hall is a definite with his proven record at international level aswell as being on form for Leeds at present. I've gone for Joe Burgess as I think he has the most potential out of any English winger. He always looks for work and makes plenty of metres. His acceleration and pace is absolutely immense and he is a good finisher also. I think he has no real flaws in his game. Briscoe is to inconsistent. Makinson has a huge shout but I just prefer Burgess as he is slightly quicker and taller.
Centres I went for Kallum Watkins and Michael Shenton. Kallum Watkins is the best centre we have there isn't any doubt about that. Shenton deserves his place on merit IMO. Now at Castleford he is flourishing in a side who actually get the ball out to their centres. (Saints do now but when Shenton was there they rarely did due to not having an out and out 7 to give them direction) Percival has the most potential but doesn't have enough games under his belt to warrant a place. In a few years maybe.
Stand off and scrum half I would have Widdop and Sneyd. Both young and will be in their prime come 2017. They both have complete games in passing, kicking, organisation and running. I feel they could run a top side and both are exceptional at putting people through gaps. Smith is another shout but doesn't offer the threat Sneyd does with ball in hand IMO.
Props if we were picking 4 I would go Graham, George Burgess, Hill and Walmsley. I think we would need two forwards who will bust tackles and knock people over. We do not have second rowers the size of Aus and the Kiwis so I would have two props in Burgess and Walmsley. Walmsley has a lot to learn but is only into his second season of professional full time RL. Once he stops making as many errors he's averaging about 1 a game for knock ons and penalties combined he will be one of the best props in the world. Hill and Graham are obvious picks along with G Burgess. If S Burgess returns for 2017 I would put him in second row if Walmsley has developed enough to be a definite at prop or if not I'd start him at prop alongside Graham. Amor and Taylor are good players but I don't think they offer enough punch and impact especially when we have back rowers who do a similar level of graft. Peacock is too slow for international level regardless of his form.
Second rowers if we had 3 (2 starting 1 on the bench) I'd go Westwood, Bateman and Kirmond. Westwood was very good in the world cup. Bateman is just pure class. He will be in the top 3 back rowers in the world come the 2017 world cup. He has everything an RL player needs. Kirmond if playing for a better side would be starting easily. He is an absolute machine and absolutely fearless. The amount of work he gets through and does is ridiculous. He warrants an international place ahead of Ferres IMO who is good but I feel his form has dipped this year.
Hookers are obvious in Roby and Clarke. Roby starting with Clarke to speed it up even further coming off the bench. Both stand out hookers in the competition. Both great in defence and any gap which opens up in the oppositions defence is punished up the middle. I don't think any other Hookers are playing at the level these two are currently.
Loose forward I'd go Sean O Loughlin. Best player in the position IMO. Has everything an RL player needs. Hopefully injuries don't cause him an early retirement as he is one of the best. If he isn't fit for 2017 then the only player who could replace him and do just as good job would be Sam Burgess.
So my team would be:
1. Sam Tomkins (Hardaker)
2. Joe Burgess (Makinson)
3. Kallum Watkins (Mason Caton Brown)
4. Michael Shenton (Jack Reed)
5. Ryan Hall (Tom Briscoe)
6. Gareth Widdop (Kevin Brown)
7. Marc Sneyd (Matty Smith)
8. James Graham (lee Mossop)
9. James Roby (Shaun Lunt)
10. George Burgess (Scott Taylor)
11. Danny Kirmond (Elliot Whitehead)
12. Ben Westwood (Ben Currie)
13. Sean O Loughlin (Stevie Ward)
14. Daryl Clark (Danny Houghton)
15. Chris Hill (Kyle Amor)
16. Alex Walmsley (Craig Huby)
17. John Bateman (Brett Ferres)
Edit: the brackets are the back up options)
Edited by RSN, 28 May 2014 - 05:01 PM.