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A Super League Dream Team of players who have suffered relegation

Super League has always been very competitive so much so, some of the league’s greatest ever players have suffered relegation during their careers.

So, with that in mind, here is a dream team of players who suffered Super League relegation.

Fullback: Gary Connolly (Widnes Vikings 2005)
The 2003 Lance Todd trophy winner was a legend at St Helens, Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos. He enjoyed a trophy-laden career and won 31 caps for Great Britain. Widely regarded as one of Super League’s greatest ever outside backs, Connolly finished his career at Widnes but he was unable to prevent their relegation in 2005.

Wingers: Krisnan Inu (Widnes Vikings 2018) & David Hodgson (Salford Red Devils 2007)
Krisnan Inu has come a long way in a short space of time. In the space of a year he went from relegation with Widnes to the Grand Final with Salford, and he is now preparing for a Challenge Cup Final with the Red Devils. Not only this but Inu is currently one of the form players in Super League and is almost unrecognisable from the man of two seasons back. Speaking of Salford, on the other wing is David Hodgson who was unable to prevent their relegation back in 2007. After the relegation, Hodgson joined Huddersfield where he became a try machine in a trophy-hunting team. His form was recognised at international level, representing England and Great Britain, before retiring at Hull KR.

Centres: Chev Walker (Bradford Bulls 2014) & Martin Gleeson (Huddersfield Giants 2001)
Chev Walker was exceptional for Leeds at the birth of their golden generation. His formidable partnership with Mark Calderwood down the Rhinos’ right was a highlight of the 2004 title-winning side. Walker joined Bradford via Hull KR in 2011 and although he performed well for the Bulls, he was unfortunately part of the team relegated from the top flight in 2014. Martin Gleeson joined St Helens in 2001 after three years at Huddersfield, suffering relegation in his final season at the West Yorkshire club. Following the transfer, Gleeson became an international class centre and won every domestic honour available with Saints. He later joined Warrington and then Wigan, winning another Super League title with the latter.

Halves: Bobbie Goulding (Salford 2002) & Paul Deacon (Oldham 1997)
Bobbie Goulding enjoyed an illustrious career and was a crucial part of bringing the first Super League trophy to St Helens in 1996. The emergence of Sean Long saw Goulding depart and following brief spells with Huddersfield and Wakefield, his time playing in the top-flight unfortunately culminated in relegation with Salford at the end of 2002. Whilst Goulding was guiding a scintillating Saints team to silverware, Paul Deacon was making his debut for a struggling Oldham side. Super League’s second season in 1997 saw the Bears win just four matches on their way to relegation and although Deacon was only a bit-part player, his potential earned him a move to Bradford. At Odsal Deacon became a legend, won every trophy on offer and scored over 2,500 points.

Props: Jamie Peacock (Hull KR 2016) & Chris Hill (Leigh 2005)
When you think of Peacock’s final game you think of the pride and joy he must have felt as his beloved Leeds Rhinos won the treble in 2015. However, a year later he came out of retirement to try and fend off the threat of relegation at Hull KR. Unfortunately, his attempts were in vain and Super League’s most successful player found himself relegated. Chris Hill, meanwhile, was relegated very early on in his career as Leigh went down the same year he made his debut. However, seven years later he would be lining up against Peacock in a Grand Final for Warrington. Now as Wolves captain he’s enjoyed plenty of success, including two Challenge Cups, but the Super League trophy still eludes him.

Hooker: Matt Diskin (Bradford Bulls 2014)
Matt Diskin was essential to Leeds Rhinos first Super League triumph with a try in a man of the match performance in the 2004 decider. He would win three more Super Leagues at Leeds before leaving for rivals Bradford in 2011. Like the aforementioned Walker, It was a less than fairytale ending to Diskin’s career as the Bulls struggled financially and were relegated in 2014.

Second-rowers: Mick Cassidy (Widnes Vikings 2005) & Gareth Hock (Leigh 2017)
Having won the very first Super League Grand Final, capping off a very successful first eight years with Wigan, Mick Cassidy joined Widnes in 2005. Like the aforementioned Connolly, Cassidy would suffer relegation with the Vikings but he did stay with the club another two seasons in an attempt to get them back to the big time. Another international back-rower who would suffer relegation was Gareth Hock. After playing in a dominant Wigan side, Hock bounced around Widnes, Salford and ended up at Leigh. He played a major part in their promotion to Super League but they would go down at the first attempt after losing the Million Pound Game to Catalans.

Loose-forward: Steve McNamara (Huddersfield Giants 2001)
Current Catalans coach Steve McNamara was a key part of the Bradford pack that dominated the early days of Super League. He also represented both England and Great Britain in a stellar career, which ended with a stint at Huddersfield. McNamara would endure a tough first season though as the Giants were relegated, they did however bounce back at the first time of asking and consolidate themselves in the top flight.

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