Ranking the five best centres in Super League with Leigh Leopards, Leeds Rhinos and St Helens men included

TO be a rugby league player, it takes a lot of steel, courage and determination as well as skill.

To be a professional Super League player takes all that and more and this latest series by League Express is about celebrating that.

Here are the five best centres in Super League.

5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall – Hull KR

It’s perhaps a shame that Shaun Kenny-Dowall only came to the UK in the twilight of his career, but what a twilight it has been. Having been one of Hull KR’s most key men in recent seasons, the Robins’ captain has seemingly gone up another level as he gets older. Making the Super League Dream Team in 2022, the 34-year-old shows no signs of slowing down as he aims to help Rovers back into the play-offs in 2023. Kenny-Dowall is certainly a leader and one which the rest of his Hull KR teammates love to follow.

4. Mark Percival – St Helens

Again suffering with injury for most of the 2022 Super League season, Mark Percival has a point to prove in 2023. The centre missed the majority of the year as well as the World Cup – something which he will be determined to put right going forward. On his day, Percival is unstoppable, taking some big carries out of defence as well as giving St Helens a major attacking outlet out wide. The Merseyside club will be hoping that the 28-year-old will be fit and raring to go next season as Saints aim to win five Grand Finals back to back.

3. Tim Lafai – Salford Red Devils

Has there ever been an overseas centre to have taken Super League by storm in his past year in the past decade than Tim Lafai? Remarkably, the Salford man was working on a building site in 2021 before the Red Devils took a punt on him for 2022. And boy did that move turn out for the best. Lafai was in incredible form last season, helping Salford get to within 80 minutes of the Grand Final and earning a place in Samoa’s World Cup squad in the process. Since then, Lafai has signed a new three-year deal and will likely go from strength to strength.

2. Ricky Leutele – Leigh Leopards

As things stand, the Leigh Leopards have the second best centre in the competition in Ricky Leutele. Following an incredible few seasons with the Huddersfield Giants, the new Leigh man has a reputation to uphold with the Leopards after establishing himself as one of the most potent attacking weapons. If Leutele had not been injured for a significant time towards the back end of 2022, he would have more than likely been included in last season’s Super League Dream Team. He will be crucial in helping the Leopards stay in the top flight.

1. Harry Newman – Leeds Rhinos

What a talent Harry Newman is, the only trouble for Leeds has been in keeping him on the field for a sustained period of time. The 22-year-old has been hit with serious injuries in recent seasons, but his class when out there is obvious to see. With pace to burn, a physicality that belies his youthful age and a passion that could make him a future Rhinos captain, Newman is number one choice in this list. It’s just a shame that he never made it to the World Cup where he would have excelled against NRL quality.