As with all our other regular features this week, we’re going down the Grand Final route for our Thursday 13 feature.
With the big game between Wigan Warriors and St Helens just two days away, we’ve assessed the potential line-ups, and are gearing up for what could be a blockbusting final in the way we know how – by producing another feature!
This week, our Thursday 13 is attempting to put together a combined Wigan-Saints side from the players who are likely to feature at Old Trafford this Saturday. Whilst we know that might upset a lot of Wigan and St Helens fans, we wondered just how good a side we could get from merging the two together.
It was tough to leave some players out – some very good players, actually – but here is what we think is the best combined Wigan-Saints side ahead of this Saturday!
Full-Back: Matty Bowen (Wigan Warriors)
Bowen has enjoyed a solid first season in England, and is sure to be regarded as one of Wigan’s key players ahead of the Old Trafford showpiece this coming Saturday.
Wing: Tommy Makinson (St Helens)
Makinson can find himself pretty unlucky not to be in the England squad for the Four Nations, as he has been in superb form for the Saints all year. Regarded as one of the game’s best finishers, Wigan will have to be wary on Saturday.
Centre: Mark Percival (St Helens)
Percival has stepped in at centre neatly for the Saints this year, producing some exceptional performances with both ball in hand and off the kicking tee.
Centre: Dan Sarginson (Wigan Warriors)
Sarginson has emerged as one of the best centres in the competition in 2014, and has been rewarded for his sparkling form with a spot in the England squad for the Four Nations.
Wing: Joe Burgess (Wigan Warriors)
Sarginson and Burgess have linked up superbly all year; which is incredible given how Burgess wasn’t even regarded as a starting winger at the beginning of the year for Wigan.
Scrum-Half: Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors)
Smith has been included in the Super League Dream Team for a second consecutive year in 2014, and has also been included in the England squad for the Four Nations after a brilliant season with the Warriors.
Prop: Kyle Amor (St Helens)
Like Tommy Makinson, Amor could find himself quite unlucky to not be in Steve McNamara’s squad for the Four Nations this Autumn. The Cumbrian has been in sparkling form all year, and has led the Saints’ charge from the front superbly.
Hooker: James Roby (St Helens)
Whilst Michael McIlorum has had a great 2014, there could be no doubting Roby’s spot in a team like this. The hooker has been in sensational form all year, with his stats making for dazzling reading all year.
Prop: Ben Flower (Wigan Warriors)
Flower is a great addition to the Warriors’ side, and has provided real punch for Wigan all year long. He will be a real miss for Wales in the European Championships this coming Autumn.
Second-Row: Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (St Helens)
McCarthy-Scarsbrook has moved into the back row this year, but has been just as effective for the Saints – providing the firepower and the punch to lead the Saints forward all year long.
Second-Row: Joel Tomkins (Wigan Warriors)
Tomkins has slotted back into Rugby League nicely since returning from union, and has impressed so much that he is going on tour with England later this year.
Loose Forward: Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan Warriors)
O’Loughlin has proven to be a real talisman for Wigan again in 2014, and the newly-appointed England captain is vital to the Warriors’ chances of success this Saturday.