For this week’s Thursday 13, we’re taking inspiration from the upcoming announcement of the 2014 Super League Dream Team – and taking a stab at picking the team we think could be on display next week.
The traditional announcement will take place at St Helens’ Langtree Park, to coincide with the launch of the 2014 Super League play-offs. And, after members of the media have been polled for their votes, the team is almost ready to be announced. But who will feature in this most illustrious of teams in 2014, following in the footsteps of some of Super League’s greatest ever players? TotalRL.com attempt to pick the team – if you agree, disagree or just want to get involved, make sure you comment below.
Full-Back: Zak Hardaker (Leeds Rhinos)
Hardaker has been Super League’s best full-back in 2014, and he is arguably the hot favourite to take the No. 1 shirt when the team is announced next Monday. However, he faces stiff competition from the likes of Luke Dorn and Morgan Escare.
Wing: Tom Makinson (St Helens)
Makinson has quickly gained a reputation as one of the most prolific finishers in the game, after scoring some incredible tries in 2014. Is his name destined to be in the Dream Team – and on the squad list for England, too?
Centre: Michael Shenton (Castleford Tigers)
Shenton has enjoyed a fantastic 2014, captaining Castleford to a (probable) top four finish, as well as an appearance at Wembley for the Challenge Cup final. He looks certain to be included in the Dream Team.
Centre: Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos)
Alongside Shenton, Kallum Watkins has been one of the most dynamic and exciting three-quarters in the competition, and he still remains one of the finest centres in world rugby. A certainty for England later this year, Watkins looks a good bet for inclusion in the Dream Team, too.
Wing: Joel Monaghan (Warrington Wolves)
Even though he has spent quite a bit of time at centre, Monaghan will be heavily voted for when it comes to inclusion in the Dream Team – 26 tries so far in Super League can testify to that. Is he the best winger in Super League in 2014?
Stand-Off: Kevin Brown (Widnes Vikings)
Brown has been inspirational at times for Widnes, leading them to a top eight finish with a game to spare – as well as an appearance in the Challenge Cup semi-finals. Some have tipped him for England honours – is a Dream Team berth also on the way?
Scrum-Half: Marc Sneyd (Castleford Tigers)
The Hull FC-bound half-back has been one of the signings of the season from Daryl Powell, with Sneyd putting in some dazzling performances to steer Castleford towards the top of the table.
Prop: Jamie Peacock (Leeds Rhinos)
Still going strong at the age of 36, Peacock has been one of the standout forwards in Super League this season. His performance in the Challenge Cup final justified that he is still a man for the big occasion – but will he make the Dream Team?
Hooker: Daryl Clark (Castleford Tigers)
Clark is the hot favourite to take the hooking role in the Dream Team after a quite incredible 2014. Bound for Warrington in 2015, the young hooker will be doing everything in his power to ensure he leaves Cas with some silverware.
Prop: Andy Lynch (Castleford Tigers)
Lynch has enjoyed a stellar 2014 after returning to Castleford from Hull FC, spearheading Castleford’s pack in some style. Alongside the likes of Craig Huby, Lynch’s Castleford have become one of the most revered sides in England.
Second-Row: Brett Ferres (Huddersfield Giants)
Even though he was banned for five matches earlier in the season, Ferres has still cemented his position as one of the most exciting back-row forwards in England, with a place on the plane for England later this year surely in the reckoning.
Second-Row: Elliott Whitehead (Catalan Dragons)
The former Bradford Bull has been in scintillating form for Catalan in 2014, garnering a reputation as one of the most prolific try-scoring forwards in the game. Like Ferres, England honours are being placed next to Whitehead’s name – but will he make the Super League Dream Team too?
Loose Forward: Grant Millington (Castleford Tigers)
Millington will likely face stiff competition form the likes of Sean O’Loughlin and Hull’s Joe Westerman, but whenever he has been on the field for Castleford, they look a much better side. Crucially for them, he could return in time for the play-off run-in.