A total of 23 of the 38 squad players in this evening’s Betfred Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford hold international honours, totalling 229 caps across 13 different nations.
St Helens lead the way with 17 representatives covering 10 nations, Salford having six which could go up to seven if Jackson Hastings, as expected, gets selected for the Great Britain tour to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea on Monday.
Most capped for Saints is centre Kevin Naiquama who has represented Fiji on 17 occasions and is set to fly out soon after the game to resume that role at the World 9s in Parramatta at the end of next week. Red Devil Tyrone McCarthy has a similar number for Ireland and is set to play for the Wolfhounds in their final qualifying competition for the 2021 World Cup this autumn, but their most decorated player is Wales prop Gil Dudson, with 20 caps.
RLEF general manager Chris Thair commented: “The Super League Grand Final marks the end of the club season and the beginning of the international window in which we have some fantastic games pending including the Great Britain tour, World 9s and the final stage of the World Cup qualifiers. By us all working together and offering maximum opportunities for the players to have the best possible experience in the sport, will it continue to thrive.”
Among the guests at the Grand Final will be a delegation from Ukraine, who have worked closely with some Super League clubs to help foster the domestic game there, setting up clubs like Lviv Tigers, West Giants, Kyiv Rhinos and Transcarpathia Trinity.
URL president Artur Martyrosian Jr said: “Super League and its clubs are held in such high regard by everyone trying to develop the sport across Europe and we follow the action closely on-line. As a federation we are bringing a delegation of board members and sponsors over from the Ukraine and as part of the trip some will be attending the Grand Final at Old Trafford.
“The spectacle, atmosphere and action makes this one of Europe’s number one sporting events. I know the Grand Final will impress our sponsors and create a deeper love here for this great sport.”
|GRAND FINAL STATS||St Helens||Salford|
|Number of International Players||17||6|
|Total Caps||158 (10 nations)||71 (7 nations)|
St Helens 19-man squad:
Jonny Lomax, 10 caps for England
Tommy Makinson, 4 caps for England
Kevin Naiqama, 17 caps for Fiji
Mark Percival, 6 caps for England
Regan Grace, 6 Caps for Wales
Theo Fages, 15 caps for France
Alex Walmsley, 5 caps for England
James Roby, 7 GB caps and 32 for England.
Luke Thompson, 4 caps for England.
Zeb Taia, 1 cap for New Zealand and 4 caps for Cook Islands
Joseph Paulo, 12 caps for Samoa and 6 caps for the USA
Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 2 caps for England and 3 for Ireland
Morgan Knowles, 4 caps for Wales
Kyle Amor, 4 caps for Ireland
Dominique Peyroux, 7 caps for Cook Island and 3 for Samoa
Jack Ashworth, uncapped
Aaron Smith, uncapped
James Bentley, 3 caps for Ireland
Lachlan Coote, 3 caps for Scotland
Salford Red Devils 19-man squad:
Niall Evalds, uncapped
Kris Welham, uncapped (1 cap for England Knights)
Jake Bibby, uncapped
Lee Mossop, 4 caps for England
Josh Wood, uncapped
Gil Dudson, 20 caps for Wales
Josh Jones, uncapped
George Griffin, uncapped
Mark Flanagan, uncapped (1 cap for England Knights)
Joey Lussick, uncapped
Adam Walker, 12 caps for Scotland
Greg Burke, uncapped
Tyrone McCarthy, 17 caps for Ireland
Logan Tomkins, uncapped
Ken Sio, uncapped
Krisnan Inu, 6 caps for New Zealand and 1 for Samoa
Tuimoala Lolohea, 1 cap for New Zealand and 10 for Tonga
Jackson Hastings, uncapped
Josh Johnson, uncapped
The Betfred Super League Grand Final, St Helens v Salford, kicks off at 6pm today, Saturday 12th October at Old Trafford.