The Qualifiers are coming.
Arguably the most-anticipated part of the entire Super 8s, the hustle and bustle for the final four places in Super League next year gets underway this weekend with a mouthwatering round of fixtures.
But for those Super League fans who aren’t too sure of the tools some of the Championship’s best sides possess, allow us to point you in the way of the quartet’s key men.
Some will be well-known to Super League fans: some may not be. But here’s our three key men from each of the four Championship teams in this year’s Qualifiers as we gear up for the start of the Super 8s.
Hull KR: Shaun Lunt, Maurice Blair and Justin Carney
Inevitably, Hull KR’s key men are the ones that most Super League fans will know all about. Captain Shaun Lunt is still one of the very best hookers in the game on his day, and his leadership will be vital in the Qualifiers. Maurice Blair was perhaps Hull KR’s best player in a season of struggle last year and will be crucial again – while the wildcard for Rovers is Justin Carney, the on-his-day-destructive winger recruited from Salford mid-season.
London: Jarrod Sammut, Alex Walker and Daniel Harrison
Jarrod Sammut is a familiar face to Super League fans, and the maverick Maltese half-back has been at his best in a London shirt this year, scoring tries aplenty as well as proving to be a creative influence, too. Young fullback Alex Walker has been somewhat of a find in the Broncos’ youth ranks, while the experienced Daniel Harrison will be vital to London’s go-forward and hopes of promotion.
Halifax: Scott Murrell, Will Sharp and Mitch Cahalane
Long-serving Halifax captain Scott Murrell is still one of the Championship’s best half-backs on his day: and if Fax are to stand a chance of promotion, he will no doubt have a huge say. Fullback Will Sharp has also been crucial to Halifax’s top-four assault all year while Aussie import Mitch Cahalane has been a revelation since arriving in West Yorkshire. He is one to watch out for.
Featherstone: Misi Taulapapa, Anthony Thackeray and John Davies
John Duffy’s Featherstone will be quietly confident of ruffling a few feathers in the Qualifiers – and if Anthony Thackeray’s game is on song, they may well have a chance of doing so. Misi Taulapapa is one of the Championship’s elite outside backs while the experience of John Davies has been vital for Rovers for a good while now. That will not change over the next seven weeks.