THE SUPER League Dream Team will be named on Monday. Here’s who I would pick.
Full-back: Jamie Shaul (Hull).
Hull have had a good year and he has been a big part of that. He is a quality attacking player, with good speed.
I think Luke Dorn at Cas has been very good again this year and Tony Gigot was impressive when Catalans were going well, but Shaul has been the stand-out.
Wingers: Denny Solomona (Castleford) and Dom Manfredi (Wigan).
Solomona has to be in there. The amount of tries he has scored this year is sensational. He is not in a top-four team, so to do that is testament to him and his finishing ability.
Whenever we’ve played against Manfredi or looked at Wigan on video, he has been a massive part of why they have been good.
He is strong and busts tackles and you probably don’t realise how good he is until you try to stop him.
He has got speed and strength and a good all-round game.
Centres: Mahe Fonua (Hull) and Ryan Atkins (Warrington).
Fonua is a newcomer to the competition. I think it took him a while to get to grips with the game over here and when he first arrived nobody knew if he was going to be a centre or winger, but he has settled down and been really good for Hull.
He is big, strong and aggressive and really tough to deal with.
Atkins’ physical presence is undoubted.
Physically he is exactly what a centre should look like.
He has carried the ball really well this year and been a massive part of getting Warrington on the front foot. He is really tough to handle.
Stand-off: George Williams (Wigan).
He is probably the one Wigan player who can create something out of nothing at times.
He is so strong for such a young lad. Whenever he carries the ball he always seems to bust tackles or get his nose through and once he’s in the clear he is lightning fast.
He’s an exciting player to watch.
Scrum-half: Luke Gale (Castleford).
He is probably the Super League player who has had the biggest impact on his team this year.
When you watch Cas you know you are going to be entertained and most of what they do goes through him. What impresses me is the decisions he makes on the end of that. If he’s not finding Luke Dorn he’s finding Denny Solomona with a long pass out to the wing, or he’s putting a short ball on for his back-rowers.
I know from experience, he is hard to defend against.
Props: Chris Hill (Warrington) and Kyle Amor (St Helens).
Consistency-wise, Chris Hill is probably the best in the game at the minute. He is deceptive, he has got great footwork and he gets Warrington on the front-foot which is how they like to play. He does a lot of stuff that goes unnoticed, but he’s someone any player would want in their team.
Amor has had a good year. Saints have been a up and down, but he has been consistent whenever I’ve watched him.
He has been really solid and if you look at the stats he is up there with his carries, metres and offloads.
Hooker: Danny Houghton (Hull).
There’s been a fair few good performers this year. Daryl Clark has been really good for Warrington, but it would be hard not to give it to Danny Houghton.
The work he gets through is impressive and he manages to be consistent in a game when he’s getting through 50 or 60 tackles. He was massive in terms of Hull winning the Challenge Cup and their big forwards jump on the back of what he does.
Second-row: Ben Currie (Warrington) and John Bateman (Wigan).
Currie is physically everything you want in a back-rower, has got speed, good hands and he scores tries. I like watching Bateman play, he isn’t the bigggest, but he’s aggressive, he does the tough stuff and he has skill as well.
Loose-forward: Gareth Ellis (Hull).
Gaz has had a really strong year. He can hit hard, he’s fit, he has good footwork and an offload and he’s a leader. He is a forward who can do everything.