Phil Clarke identifies Leeds Rhinos star as “modern version” of Keiron Cunningham

There are a lot of top hookers knocking around in Super League at the moment.

James Roby is perhaps the greatest of all time whilst his understudy Joey Lussick is no slouch either.

Four hookers in Daryl Clark, Kruise Leeming, Paul McShane and Michael McIlorum are chasing the number nine spot for England at the World Cup and there are plenty of Australian nines in the league with tremendous pedigree.

But of all of them, only one is seen by Sky Sports’ Phil Clarke as the “modern” Keiron Cunningham.

Like Roby, the former St Helens number nine before Roby himself, Cunningham could be seen as the greatest British number nine of all time and he had a very particular asset.

He was the best at driving over for a try from short range when scouting out of acting half.

He even did it on the biggest stage too which takes some doing when everyone is on red alert.

But who in the eyes of former Wigan man Phil Clarke is the “modern version” of Cunningham.

Well it transpires that it’s Leeds’ Brad Dwyer. Not the same build as Cunningham, Dwyer has a very different way of getting over for a try from close range using his speed to catch defenders out and power over as he did against Wigan on Thursday night and Toulouse the week before.

As he scored against hometown club Wigan to move Leeds further ahead on Thursday as the Rhinos won 42-12, Clarke described what Dwyer does as the “modern version” of Cunningham’s pet play.

He said: “About 20 years ago in this sport there was a player called Kerion Cunningham and every team that played against him knew that close to the try line he’d pick it up and attempt to score.

“Even though they knew it, very few of them could stop it and Brad Dwyer is the modern version of that.

“Everyone knows that’s his pet play, that’s what he loves to do but even with that awareness, that preparation all week trying to prevent it, it’s very hard to stop a man with his determination.”

Ironically, Dwyer was linked with a move to St Helens earlier this season but that will no longer be happening.

He will however be leaving Leeds with Salford thought to be his likely destination.

It is his departure which made the try he scored on Thursday so special to him as you could surely see from the way he celebrated.

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