Starting XVII: Is this how St Helens will line up in 2021?

St Helens enjoyed another title-winning season in 2020 after dominating for much of the year until Wigan leapfrogged them to take the League Leaders’ Shield.

But, despite coming in for some criticism following a slow start to the season, Kristian Woolf’s men slowly established their dominance over the league after the resumption. New signings Joel Thompson, Sione Mata’utia, Agnatius Paasi and Dan Norman will all be hoping for a spot in the first-team.

Fullback – Lachlan Coote

One of St Helens’ most consistent players in 2020, Coote will retain his number one shirt for the upcoming campaign.

Wingers – Regan Grace and Tommy Makinson

Arguably the greatest wing-partnership in Super League, Grace and Makinson will be looking to kick on in 2021 with the World Cup approaching at the end of the year. Two of the greatest at carrying the ball out of defence, Saints are blessed in the three-quarter department.

Centres – Kevin Naiqama and Mark Percival

Naiqama enjoyed a quality season in 2020, registering 21 appearances and scoring eight tries. On the other hand, Mark Percival played just five times until injury struck, ending his season prematurely in September. The latter will certainly want to avenge those missed minutes in 2021.

Halves – Jonny Lomax and Theo Fages

It’s the headguard duo that guided the title-winning Saints round the field in 2020 and it’s guaranteed that they will be back with a bang too in the upcoming campaign.

Props – Alex Walmsley and Matty Lees

The retirement of James Graham sees Matty Lees step into the gauntlet as number ten whilst Alex Walmsley will want to kick on to be in the England reckoning at the end of the year.

Hooker – James Roby

The evergreen James Roby will of course be the first-choice hooker. With over 500 career games under his belt, there is no sign of Roby letting up.

Second-rowers – Joel Thompson and James Bentley

Two newcomers into number 11 and 12 sees overseas recruit Joel Thompson and tough youngster James Bentley take the shirts. Ex-Manly forward Thompson comes with great pedigree whilst Bentley enjoyed a stellar year in 2020.

Loose-forward – Morgan Knowles

One of the most physical forwards in the game, Morgan Knowles will be another of those hoping for a big year to be in with a shot of making Shaun Wane’s World Cup squad.

Subs: Sione Mata’utia, LMS, Agnatius Paasi, Aaron Smith

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