Leeds back five is best in the world, says Cunningham

St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham has spelled out the challenge facing his side on Friday night when they face Leeds by admitting their back five is the best in the world.

Zak Hardaker, Ryan Hall, Joel Moon, Kallum Watkins and Tom Briscoe have all made headlines on multiple occasions this year, most notably Briscoe, whose five-try haul helped Leeds retain the Challenge Cup in emphatic fashion last weekend.

But ahead of the meeting of the title favourites and the defending champions at Headingley, Cunningham admits they have a backline that is simply as good as anyone’s.

“Leeds are certainly the benchmark in the competition. They are in a purple patch, playing good football and as a comp we have to try to catch up Leeds,” he said.

“Their back five is probably the best back five in the world and they have strike across the board. They play carefree and without structure and that makes them hard to defend against.

“Quite simply you have to be in the game and stay with them to come out with a result.”