The 2022 Grand Final awaits between two teams well versed in Grand Final glory.
St Helens are the favourites looking for a fourth consecutive Super League title which of course would break the record Leeds set in 2009 and the Saints matched a year ago against Catalans.
The Saints could also set a new record for Grand Final wins with nine and a new record for Super League titles with 10 on this their record 14th Grand Final appearance. For them, tonight is all about cementing their dominance.
Their opponents Leeds however are striving to get back to where they belong after five years without a Grand Final appearance.
This season is very much an embodiment of the last five years with Leeds struggling at the start of the campaign and well and truly in a relegation battle until Rohan Smith took the reigns and revolutionised the Rhinos giving them hope not just for 2022 but beyond. He’s only lost five games since taking charge and if he keeps that record he’ll lift the Super League trophy.
But which men are the key to lifting that Super League trophy? He has now answered that with the reveal of his side.
The big call for Smith to make was who would you ask to play in the halves instead of Aidan Sezer who misses the game with a head knock with David Fusitu’a, Harry Newman and Morgan Gannon all also out with injuries.
Smith has chosen to name Cameron Smith in the halves in a surprise move keeping his backline intact with Richie Myler at fullback and Zak Hardaker at centre.
Rhyse Martin returns to the side in the second row with Jarrod O’Connor still at nine which keeps Kruise Leeming on the bench. It of course means Brad Dwyer won’t make a farewell appearance.
The big news is that Ash Handley returns to the side on the left wing in place of Liam Tindall.
Here’s their team:
Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Rohan Smith has named his starting line up for the @Betfred @SuperLeague Grand Final at Old Trafford, kick off 6pm, live on Sky Sports
🤝 In partnership with @BoardrmUK #YourFutureOurPassion pic.twitter.com/kKHP1qpiF3
— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) September 24, 2022
Kristian Woolf’s big decision lay with Will Hopoate who has been named on the wing with Jon Bennison but don’t be surprised to see them swap over.
This means Mark Percival moves to centre as Sione Mata’utia drops to the bench alongside Joey Lussick, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Jake Wingfield.
The pack remains the same with Agnatius Paasi joining Matty Lees in the front row.
James Bell misses out.
Here’s their team:
🔴⚪ 𝐆𝐑𝐀𝐍𝐃 𝐅𝐈𝐍𝐀𝐋 𝐓𝐄𝐀𝐌 𝐍𝐄𝐖𝐒! 🔴⚪
Your Saints line-up aiming to make 𝗵𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆! 🔐#COYS
— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) September 24, 2022