St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham believes that his class of 2016 as a whole is stronger than the Saints squad that went on and lifted the trophy back in 2014.
The Saints won Super League during Nathan Brown’s final season in charge, before he handed over the reins to Cunningham after returning to his native Australia.
The Saints have won just one of their first two league fixtures, as well as being comprehensively beaten by Sydney in last weekend’s World Club Series, but Cunningham says he’s convinced there is a stronger squad at the club now.
“It’s stronger than the squad that won the trophy in 2014, a lot stronger – I’m more than convinced,” he told BBC Radio Merseyside.
“People look back and talk about the old Saints sides, you’re not going to see that side.
“Nowadays, if a St Helens side was around, when you’ve had Sean Long, Keiron Cunningham, Paul Sculthorpe, Paul Wellens, then you’d have a bunch of stocking fillers around them because of the salary cap.
“The value of those players now would be immense and you’d spend a lot of money to bring it in.
“We do our best within the remit of what we can do with the money that we have to spend.”