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Kingstone Press Championship Team of the Year

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Full-back – Will Sharp (Halifax RLFC)

It’s fair to say Toulouse Olympique’s Mark Kheirallah may feel a bit hard done by here but Will Sharp has been an ever-present for the West Yorkshire club this season. Despite playing most of his time at Featherstone Rovers as a winger, Sharp has looked at home since nailing down the full-back berth at Halifax. With a superb engine allowing him to damage the defence from the first minute to last, his strong running game has made him a fans favourite at the MBi Shay and he will be wanting to impress further in the Qualifiers.

Winger – Garry Lo (Sheffield Eagles)

A shoo-in for one of the wing spots, Garry Lo has been incredible for Sheffield Eagles this season. The top try-scorer in the division, the former PNG Hunters powerhouse hasn’t even been fit for half of the year and has managed to regularly find the whitewash with ease. Partnered up with fellow countryman Menzie Yere, Lo has been phenomenal and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Super League clubs were sniffing around for his services. 

Centre – Steve Tyrer (Halifax)

A consistently brilliant goal-kicker, Steve Tyrer has flourished in a successful season for Halifax. His club finished in the top four thanks to a great run of form towards the end of the year and Tyrer played a big part in that. With a nifty eye for the try-line, as well as superb passion for the cause, it’s not hard to see why Tyrer is loved so much in that part of West Yorkshire. Tyrer scored 242 points for Fax this season, just 20 behind Jamie Ellis of Hull KR.

Centre – Andrew Heffernan (Hull Kingston Rovers)

It’s been a great debut season for Andrew Heffernan at Hull Kingston Rovers. The former Penrith Panthers centre has been great to watch in Robins colours and with 17 tries to his name, it’s not a bad return from the Aussie. Heffernan signed a two-year contract at the club back in June, which isn’t dependent on the division the Robins are in next year. Exciting times for the fans, who will get to see more of Heffernan no matter what in 2018.

Winger – Rob Massam (Rochdale Hornets)

Rochdale Hornets winger Rob Massam notched 17 tries in the regular season, and how important those could be by the end of the year. Massam, the former North Wales flyer, has been integral for the Hornets and the excitement levels certainly rise when he’s got hold of the ball. A clinical finisher, Massam deserves his spot in this side although Hull KR’s Ryan Shaw certainly staked a strong claim to be selected too.

Stand-off – Jarrod Sammut (London Broncos)

What a signing Jarrod Sammut has been for London Broncos. The maverick half-back almost kept Workington Town up single-handedly before making the move to the capital, which has turned out to be a very profitable transfer for Andrew Henderson’s side. He’s one of those players that can turn a game on its head in the blink of an eye and he will make the Super League clubs in the Qualifiers rather wary when they have to take on the Broncos. 18 tries, 186 points, and a whole lot of entertainment.

Scrum-half – Jamie Ellis (Hull Kingston Rovers)

When Jamie Ellis signed for Hull Kingston Rovers on loan from Huddersfield Giants at the start of the season, many acknowledged the move as a very shrewd one from Robins coach Tim Sheens. That’s exactly what it’s turned out to be. The leading points scorer in the league this season, Ellis has been a couple of steps ahead of the defence throughout the year and he will be hoping to replicate that form in the middle eights. He struck up a great partnership with Jordan Abdull until the Hull FC loanee broke a bone in his foot. Chris Atkin, Hull KR’s new signing from Swinton, could also have made the cut for his great performances in Lions colours this year.

Prop forward – Bastien Canet (Toulouse Olympique)

It’s crazy to think a newly promoted club would be disappointed to finish fifth in their first season but that is the case for Bastien Canet, and his Toulouse Olympique teammates. The club are very ambitious and to miss out on increased central funding will be a blow. Canet has been one of Olympique’s big presences in a boisterous pack of forwards. He crossed the whitewash on seven occasions this season and he will be wanting to improve on that next year as Olympique aim for the Qualifiers. A good effort from the Frenchman, and the club as a whole in 2017.

Hooker – Shaun Lunt (Hull Kingston Rovers)

A very classy player. Lunt did what most people expected him to do in the Championship – tear it up. Marshalling his side around from dummy-half, Lunt’s Super League experience certainly told as he led the Robins to the top of the Championship without much trouble at all. The real test starts this weekend when the Qualifiers get underway. Will the Robins return to Super League at the first time of asking?

Prop forward – Mark Ioane (London Broncos)

The former St George Illawarra man has been a pivotal part of London Broncos’ great pack this season. A brilliant metre eater in the midfield, Ioane will be rubbing his hands at the thought of going up against some Super League forwards. The Aussie made 21 appearances for London this season, three from the bench as an impact sub. Since joining the Broncos, the club has had two successive top four finishes but will they be able to go one better in the Qualifiers?

Second-row – James Bentley (Bradford Bulls)

A ray of light from a disappointing season at the Provident Stadium. James Bentley has been terrific for the Bulls in 2017 and he has been attracting interest from Super League clubs, which won’t come as much of a surprise to Bradford fans. Striking up a good partnership down the same side as fellow young gun Ethan Ryan, Bentley has been one of the form back-rowers in the competition but his efforts to save the Bulls from relegation look to be in vain.

Second-row – John Davies (Featherstone Rovers)

Mr 100%. John Davies doesn’t get the credit he deserves, and hasn’t done for quite some time now. Superb for Sheffield Eagles in his lone season there, he has been just as good – if not better – during his time at Featherstone Rovers. Part of a solid pack, Davies knows his way to the try-line as well as putting in the big hits when defending. The former Batley man will never let you down and he leaves everything out on the field, something the Super League clubs in the Qualifiers will soon find out.

Loose forward – Aaron Brown (Dewsbury Rams)

What a revival at the Tetley’s Stadium! Since Neil Kelly rejoined the club following the departure of Glenn Morrison, Dewsbury Rams have been one of the form teams in the league and they have the likes of Aaron Brown to thank for that. Brown has found the try-line eight times in 21 games this season, a good return for a loose forward who can also cover a number of positions. The former Leeds man has been a great servant for Dewsbury and it’s fitting that he has been one of the star men during the club’s fight against relegation.

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