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Super League Team of the Decade: Left Centre

We continue to look at the potential nominations for Super League Team of the Decade, this time it is left centre.

This is in no particular order.

Keith Senior (Leeds Rhinos)

He may have been in the latter end of his career, but Senior proved he could still do a job right  until the end.

The Great Britain and England international had already won four Super League titles with Leeds and two Challenge Cups, one with Sheffield.

Coming into the new decade, at the age of 33, he was certainly coming to the end at this point.

But another stellar season in 2010 saw him earn a place in the Super League Dream Team. Though it was disappointment as a whole for the Rhinos, as the failed to make the Grand Final after three straight victories there.

Halfway through the next season, it  was announced that Senior would be leaving Leeds to take up a contract with Welsh side Crusaders ahead of the 2012 season.

However, the Crusaders ended up pulling out of the Super League and Senior’s contract was cancelled. He retired not long after that due to injury.

It wasn’t quite the swansong he deserved, especially considering the team went on to win the Super League that year.

But he still had a brilliant career, which brought success wherever he was and he continues to have a presence in the game to this day.

Ryan Atkins (Warrington Wolves and Wakefield Trinity)

Ryan Atkins had an impressive try-scoring record at Warrington
Credit: Richard Long/News Images

Atkins signed for Warrington from Wakefield ahead of the 2010 season, and quickly established himself as a brilliant try-scorer.

He won a trophy in his first season with the Wolves, as he helped them claim the Challenge Cup with victory over Leeds Rhinos.

The centre also starred as Wire won the League Leaders Shield in 2011. He followed that up with his first call up to the Super League Dream Team and another Challenge Cup title in 2012.

He helped Wire to another League Leaders crown in 2016, but after new Head Coach Steve Price came in, he lost his place in the side to Toby King.

The England international left Warrington having scored an impressive 165 tries in 272 games for the Wolves.

He ended up going back to Wakefield before the 2019 transfer deadline, and will be hoping to play his part in helping Trinity get over last year’s disappointing season.

Mark Percival (St Helens)

Mark Percival has gained a reputation as a versatile centre
Credit: News Images

Percival came through the St Helens academy, and was given his chance under coach Nathan Brown. He made his debut in 2013.

His appearances were sporadic, but 2014 saw him play more regularly and he took over as goal kicker after a serious injury to halfback Luke Walsh.

He went on to play a pivotal part as Saints claimed the League Leaders Shield for the first time since 2008 and he kicked six points in the Grand Final as the League Leaders won the Super League title.

2016 was a big year for him as he took the number four shirt following the departure of Josh Jones, and he became one of the first names on the team sheet.

Under Justin Holbrook, Percival’s game had gotten better again as he formed a lethal attacking partnership with Ben Barba. This saw him claim his best try scoring return in 2018.

Last season, he played a crucial role in Saints winning back the Super League title. He scored a try in the Grand Final win over Salford.

He has made the Super League Dream Team twice as well.

Mahe Fonua (Hull FC)

Fonua can play as both a winger and a centre. He initially came to Hull in 2016 from Melbourne Storm, and gained a reputation straight away.

From either position, he was dangerous because of his speed and power.

He spent two seasons on Humberside during his first spell, scoring 31 tries in 58 appearances.

Fonua had also helped the Black and Whites lift back-to-back Challenge  Cup titles, including their first ever win at Wembley.

In 2016, they were also just one win away from claiming the League Leaders Shield, but they lost on the final night against Warrington Wolves.

He left ahead of the 2018 season as he went to Wests Tigers, but has now returned to Hull ahead of the 2020 season.

Fonua will be hoping he has unfinished business at the KCOM Stadium.

Bill Tupou (Wakefield Trinity)

Bill Tupou has proven to be a dangerous player when on his game
Credit: News Images

Tupou signed for Wakefield halfway through the 2015 season, and immediately made a reputation as a hard-running and ball-carrying centre.

He is most remembered for an 11 minute hat trick he scored at Wigan. That is among 35 tries he has scored in 98 matches for Trinity.

Tupou’s most prolific season was in 2017 as he scored 15 in all competitions, and he was rewarded with a place in the Dream Team.

His season this year has been disrupted by injury, but if he stays injury-free, then he could be a real threat for Wakefield going forward.

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