Alex Walmsley is an immovable object on the field but also in the Super League Dream Team.
Once again, and with no surprise, Super League’s best prop was recognised as such with a place in this year’s Dream Team this morning alongside Leeds’ Mikolaj Oledzki and beating out the likes of Chris Hill.
A key figure in St Helens’ team and in many ways the bed rock on which they’ve built their recent success, the Saints will want him fit and firing for the semi-finals and Grand Final but his availability is still up in the air after he picked up a foot injury and was in a protective boot this morning as he met the media after being included in the dream team.
He told us it was precautionary and gave an update on his situation: “It’s precautionary at the minute hopefully back for the semis. We’ll have some CT scans, wait for the results and get specialist opinion on them and all being well back in a couple of weeks.
“We’re hoping for at least the Grand Final but until we’ve got the results back and the specialist’s opinion, we can’t say for definite.”
If he is fit for the semi-finals and Grand Final, Saints would cement themselves as favourites as they go in search of a record fourth Grand Final win in a row which would topple Leeds’ record of three in a row from 2007-09 which the Saints equalled last year.
However, Walmsley said that Saints aren’t thinking about that and are instead viewing this year’s title charge as its own separate entity: “We’re looking it as a new achievement, a separate achievement. It takes a monumental effort to win a Grand Final and obviously we’ve had a few nice wins in recent years but to keep on winning is on an individual basis.
“Obviously the record has been mentioned but it’s a separate entity.”
Of course, by being the reigning Champions, St Helens have been through this experience before but to Walmsley 2022 “feels new” given the changes to the Saints side this year and the number of injuries they’ve picked up over the course of the season making it their most “challenging” campaign for years and yet they still finished top.
“It feels new to be honest,” Walmsley said, “This year has been the most challenging we’ve had as a team with the injuries we’ve had to overcome to a lot of key players in the same positions.
“As a year it’s probably been the toughest we’ve had in the last three or four years. That’s different and we’ve lost a few players but we’re a level headed group and we’ll take it one step at a time. We won’t look too far ahead.”