In a history making Grand Final, Catalans and St Helens do battle at Old Trafford on Saturday. It can be characterised as many things: the Champions-elect against the Champions outright, the league leaders and against the cup holders or even France v England. But in many ways it’s as simple as the future butting heads with the past.
Catalans – now the ninth team to play in a Grand Final – are looking to become only the fifth team to be crowned Champions of Super League. The last new winners were Leeds back in 2004 and plenty of neutrals want to see that change on Saturday as history and expansion beckons the Dragons.
But they’re coming up against eight-time Super League Champions St Helens. The dominant force at the start of Super League but also in recent years. In many ways, they are Super League’s super club and have been to more Grand Finals than anyone. They want to become only the second team to win three Super League titles in a row as history also calls to them. Can they maintain their monopoly over Super League, or will the Dragons carve a new name into the trophy?
As always, the Old Trafford decider kicks off at 18:00 on Saturday but Sky Sports Arena’s coverage of the game begins at 16:30.
The Dragons have named an unchanged squad from the semi-final win over Hull KR. The big news for them is that James Maloney escapes a ban after a high shot in last week’s semi whilst Sam Tomkins is again be named in the squad. Steve McNamara will be hoping he’s fit enough to play this time however. The only major absentee is Alrix Da Costa.
21-man squads: 1 Arthur Mourgue, 2 Tom Davies, 3 Samisoni Langi, 4 Dean Whare, 5 Fouad Yaha, 6 James Maloney, 7 Josh Drinkwater, 8 Gil Dudson, 9 Michael McIlorum, 10 Julian Bousquet, 11 Matt Whitley, 12 Mike McMeeken, 13 Benjamin Garcia, 15 Benjamin Jullien, 17 Mickael Goudemand, 20 Matthieu Laguerre, 22 Joel Tomkins, 27 Joe Chan, 28 Sam Kasiano, 29 Sam Tomkins, 30 Jordan Dezaria
St Helens also name an unchanged 21 after their semi-final triumph at the expense of rivals Leeds. Jack Welsby is fine to play after a shoulder scare against the Rhinos whilst Joel Thompson keeps his place in the squad despite not featuring in last week’s game. He’ll be hoping to force his way into the side on Saturday. The Champions are without Theo Fages and James Bentley both of whom have played their last game for the Saints.
21-man squad: 1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Tommy Makinson, 3 Kevin Naiqama, 4 Mark Percival, 5 Regan Grace, 6 Jonny Lomax, 8 Alex Walmsley, 9 James Roby, 10 Matty Lees, 11 Joel Thompson, 13 Morgan Knowles, 14 Sione Mata’utia, 15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 16 Kyle Amor, 17 Agnatius Paasi, 18 Jack Welsby, 19 Aaron Smith, 20 Joe Batchelor, 21 Lewis Dodd, 23 Jake Wingfield, 29 Ben Davies.