A successful year perhaps for rugby league in the northern hemisphere as England claimed a 2-1 test series win over the previous world champions New Zealand.
The run may have ended on a sour note as England sustained yet another heavy defeat at Elland Road; nevertheless, England embarked on well-deserved celebrations after seeing off the Kiwis.
However, ever dreamt of the Exiles Rugby League concept returning and what they would look like when they face our wall of white?!
There’s gossip of such a match returning and for fun, we selected a line-up of 17 players who could possibly feature in the game…
Full-back – Jake Mamo
Following the departure of Steve Prescott Man of Steel Ben Barba, Jake Mamo claims full-back as his own.
Mamo has not had much luck with injuries but when he has featured, he has truly impressed with his exciting attacking skills in support play and ability to provide scores.
He should thrive at Warrington next year and would prove quite a threat in such a fixture.
Wingers – Bureta Faraimo & Akuila Uate
On the wings are Hull’s Bureta Faraimo and Huddersfield’s star signing Akuila Uate.
Faraimo may have seen red more than once but has proved to be quite a replacement for Mahe Fonua with his sheer strength, having finished as Hull FC’s top try scorer with 17 last season.
Uate has over 20 international caps between Australia and Fiji to his name, having taken the NRL by storm during his time with Newcastle Knights and Manly Sea Eagles, scoring over 100 tries, and will no doubt prove to be a threat in 2019.
Centres – Bill Tupou & Bryson Goodwin
An interesting selection perhaps as the robust Bill Tupou and ever-green Bryson Goodwin line-up at centre.
Dream Team player Tupou has been devastating for all opposition in 2018 in attack, scoring 14 tries and assisting in seven plus racking up over 4000 metres.
Goodwin enjoyed an excellent first season at Warrington, helping them to appearances at Wembley and Old Trafford.
The 32-year-old managed to notch up 12 tries in 2018 and slotted home 29 goals, arguably proving to be their most reliable player and an ideal candidate for such a team.
Stand-off – Albert Kelly
Former Man of Steel candidate Albert Kelly is selected at stand-off.
Kelly’s season may have ended abruptly due to concussion but remained a threat when on the field with his unpredictable side-stepping ability as well as sheer strength that has seen him carry several defenders with him.
He’d certainly cause problems for England, just as he has in the Super League for the previous two seasons with Hull.
Scrum-half – Blake Austin
Rounding off the backs is Warrington’s top signing of Blake Austin.
Austin has impressed in the NRL with his fine kicking ability and is also no stranger to the try line with over 40 touchdowns to his name.
The 27-year-old has also featured over 100 appearances between Penrith, Wests Tigers and Canberra and could finally be the missing link to taking the Wolves to their first championship title in 64 years.
Props – Pauli Pauli & David Fifita
The front row is arguably a duo any international would not want to face in Wakefield duo Pauli Pauli and David Fifita.
With over 4000 metres between them in 2018, these two juggernauts were formidable opposition in the Betfred Super League and made Trinity an intimidating side to face; a feat they would arguably repeat should they have faced the wall of white.
Perhaps if they started better, both could have helped Trinity become better contenders for silverware, which will no doubt be their target in 2019.
Hooker – Matt Parcell
A fairly obvious choice as Leeds Rhinos’ Matt Parcell lines up at hooker.
Parcell in his debut season helped Leeds to their eighth Super League title, being instrumental in attack with his quick thinking from acting half as well as his ability to defend.
Last season did not go as kindly but nevertheless, Parcell possesses plenty of skill that suitably replaced the infamous James Segeyaro and would be invaluable in a one-off match when facing the ‘poms’.
Second-row – Sika Manu & Trent Merrin
The back row sees former Tongan Captain Sika Manu alongside former Leeds’ latest capture of Trent Merrin.
Manu has been a fantastic signing for Hull, displaying plenty of sheer strength that has made Hull a force to be reckoned with in recent seasons, despite last years finish.
Merrin has managed over 200 appearances in the NRL between St George Illawarra and Penrith, even featuring in the State of Origin for New South Wales.
An excellent record to his name, who is easily capable of taking the Super League by storm, causing trouble for the England internationals in the process.
Loose-forward – Ben Murdoch-Masila
Perhaps the biggest and most dangerous of them all completes the starting line-up in Ben Murdoch-Masila.
Murdoch-Masila impressed a great deal at Salford and followed through last season at Warrington, helping both teams to top four finishes as well as final appearances for the latter.
He owes his devastating hit-ups to such achievements, perfect timing when running on to bullet passes that has seen the Wolves remain a constant threat in attack in 2018.
Jacob Miller & Kane Linnett
An all Yorkshire selection sees Wakefield’s Jacob Miller line-up with Hull KR’s latest signing Kane Linnett.
Miller has truly made a name for himself at Wakefield for the past four years literally helping them become contenders from pretenders with his unpredictable side-step as well as delicate kicking game that has kept opposition on the back foot throughout.
Linnett arrives in East Yorkshire from North Queensland Cowboys, previously bagging himself an NRL title back in 2015.
Having scored over 50 tries from the Cowboys, Linnett has a point to prove in Super League and would no doubt cause trouble in such a clash as he should do week in week out in 2019.
Sebastine Ikahihifo & Adam Cuthbertson
Rounding things off are a former Dream Team duo in Sebastine Ikahihifo and Adam Cuthbertson.
Ikahihifo could have had better luck with injuries in 2018 but when out on the field, he has surged through all opposition and also possesses an excellent offloading game for a prop.
Cuthbertson, despite finishing at the wrong end of Super League with Leeds, remains a top dog for the former champions, having broken through the defence countless times and even been on hand to defend indomitably too.