In these articles, we continue to look at the best Super League Team of the decade. This time it’s the prop forwards.
This is in no particular order.
Adrian Morley (Warrington Wolves and Salford Red Devils)
Probably one of the most respected Englishmen to tackle the NRL, Morley was reaching the end of his career at the start of the new decade.
He was at Warrington Wolves, and had been since 2007.
The forward was named captain and led them to back-to-back Challenge Cups in 2009 and 2010.
However, the one title that eluded him there was the Super League. The Wolves had reached two straight finals whilst he was there, in 2012 and 2013, but lost them both to former club Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors respectively.
The 2013 final would prove to be Morley’s final game for Warrington, as he was announced as one of many players to be moving to Salford Red Devils.
He played for his hometown club for two years, before retiring at the age of 36. His final game was an exhibition for Leeds against New Zealand.
Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves)
Hill started his career in the Championship with Leigh Centurions before moving on to Warrington ahead of the 2012 season.
During his first year there, he helped the team to win the Challenge Cup. The Wolves also reached the Super League Grand Final, but lost against Leeds.
Individually, he won Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and the Vice President award.
The Wolves made the Super League Grand Final a year later as well, but lost once more against Wigan Warriors.
In 2016, Hill was made captain of Warrington, and lifted his first piece of silverware later that year as Warrington won the League Leaders Shield. However, once again, they lost in the Grand Final.
After a turbulent year in 2017, Warrington would return a year later, but lost in both major finals.
Warrington would get their vengeance though, as they beat St Helens at Wembley to lift the Challenge Cup in 2019.
Jamie Peacock (Leeds Rhinos and Hull KR)
Peacock had already established himself as a Leeds legend, as he played a starring role in the Rhinos winning three straight Super League titles between 2007 and 2009.
He then helped the Rhinos repeat the feat in 2011. All of their Grand Final victories came against St Helens.
The former Bradford player was then made an MBE in 2012, and then helped his side to another Super League Grand Final victory, this time over Warrington.
Then in 2014, he claimed the one trophy that had eluded his side for many years; the Challenge Cup. They beat West Yorkshire rivals Castleford Tigers to claim their first win at Wembley since 1999.
Then a year later, he helped the Rhinos complete the ultimate accolade, as they won the treble. They won the League Leaders Shield, the Challenge Cup and the Super League Grand Final.
This proved to be Peacock’s last game for Leeds. He moved to Hull KR, initially in an upstairs role but as Rovers were fighting for their lives in the Middle 8s, he came out of retirement.
However, he couldn’t save them from relegation, as they went down in a golden point thriller against Salford Red Devils.
After that game, he announced he was retired for good.
Alex Walmsley (St Helens)
Walmsley signed for St Helens in 2013, after a fast rise from the amateur game. He went from Dewsbury Celtic, to Batley Bulldogs and then the Saints in the space of three years.
Just a year later, he came off the bench as Saints won their first Super League Grand Final for eight years.
Under the guidance of new Head Coach Keiron Cunningham, Walmsley had his best season to date, as he was nominated for Man of Steel, but lost out to Zak Hardaker. He also ended that season with the most metres made.
He was continuing to perform at a high level, bur a broken neck suffered in 2018 halted his progress, he spent almost all of that season on the side line.
But he came back in 2019, and played in both major finals. Saints lost against Warrington in the Challenge Cup, but beat Salford Red Devils in the Super League.
Luke Thompson (St Helens)
Thompson came through the ranks at St Helens and made his debut in 2013.
Just a year later, he came off the bench as Saints beat Wigan to win the Super League Grand Final.
He continued to get his first team opportunities, but it was under Justin Holbrook where he really started to shine.
He made the Super League Dream Team for each of the last two years. His speed and power was winning him admirers.
In 2018, he earned top accolades at the clubs awards evening and he also earned his first international call up.
He played a major part in both cup finals as well a year later. Saints won the Super League for the first time in five years, but lost out in the Challenge Cup Final.
Liam Watts (Hull KR,Hull FC and Castleford Tigers)
Watts came through the ranks at Hull KR in 2008. By 2010, he had won the Albert Goldthorpe Medal for his performances.
This caught the eye of Rover’s cross-city rivals Hull FC, who snapped him up in 2012, after Watts requested a release from his contract.
He then built himself up at his new club, until he made the starting 13 on a regular basis. He was an integral part of the team that won back to back Challenge Cups.
However, disciplinary problems continued to hold him back. Eventually, after a fourth red card picked up needlessly, he signed a contract with Castleford Tigers.
He soon made a home in his hometown club. He helped the Tigers reach the playoffs after an indifferent year, but they lost in the Elimination semi final against Salford Red Devils.
Kylie Leuluai (Leeds Rhinos)
Leuluai came to Leeds after a very successful career in the NRL.
He came straight into a championship winning side as Leeds won three titles between 2007 and 2009.
The Kiwi carried this on into the new decade as he helped the Rhinos to the 2011 and 2012 Super League titles. Both from fifth place.
Every year between 2011 and 2015, he said he was going to retire at the end of the season, but they kept on winning trophies, and he kept on going.
He ended up retiring in 2015 along with Jamie Peacock. He had saved his biggest achievement for last as he helped the Rhinos to the treble.
It later came out that Leuluai had been playing with a heart condition. He was diagnosed with an irregular heart beat the same year he retired.