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War of the Roses: Is this how Lancashire would line up?

Yesterday we predicted how Yorkshire would line up should the War of the Roses make a return to rugby league, so naturally today it’s the turn of Lancashire.

Along the same theme as our Yorkshire edition, we’ve chosen what we think would be Super League’s best starting squad made up of players hailing from the Red Rose county.

So, do you agree with our choices?

Fullback – Sam Tomkins

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Tomkins has been one of Super League’s top stars for some years now and has begun 2020 in a rich vein of form. He looks extremely sharp in attack compared to recent years and has led from the front at Catalans, helping the halves orchestrate dangerous attacks.

Other options – Stefan Ratchford, Gareth O’Brien, Jack Welsby

Wingers – Tom Makinson and Josh Charnley

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Makinson’s pick is a no-brainer. He’s quick, athletic and an unbelievable finisher. The other spot was a tougher choice but Charnley just edges out the Wigan trio of Dom Manfredi, Joe Burgess and Liam Marshall. He made an effortless return from rugby union, averaging a try approximately every 110 minutes for Warrington.

Other options – Dom Manfredi, Liam Marshall, Joe Burgess

Centres – Mark Percival and Oliver Gildart

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Injury permitting, Percival and Gildart would be the strongest choices in the centres. Both are quality on their day and have the ability to evade defenders and create opportunities for the wingers outside them. Kallum Watkins’ return from Australia adds another viable option but based on form he’d likely be third in the pecking order.

Other options – Kallum Watkins, Jordan Turner, Jake Bibby

Halves – Jonny Lomax and Danny Richardson

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The two ex-teammates know exactly how each other play and so would likely slot seamlessly into the halves together. Lomax is among the best creative halves in the competition, while Richardson is starting to fulfil his full potential under Daryl Powell at Castleford.

As Super League’s best prop, Thompson is an obvious choice. His power and leg drive with the ball is relentless which is part of the reason he gained so many admirers from both hemispheres. Hill, meanwhile, is the ultimate workhorse and a natural leader.

Other options – Mike Cooper, Ollie Partington, Jack Ashworth, Joe Bullock

Hooker – James Roby

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Roby is hands down one of the most consistent players in the competition. He has performed at the top level for 17 years, helping to lead St Helens to three Super League titles and three Challenge Cups, as well as winning the Man of Steel aged just 22.

Other options – Sam Powell, Danny Walker, Aaron Smith

Second Rowers – Josh Jones and Liam Farrell

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Jones was one of Salford’s most outstanding players last year as the club reached their first ever Super League Grand Final and has continued that form at Hull. He’s tough to tackle and often bounces off several defenders to create space. Farrell has spent the past 10 years as one of the competition’s top back rowers, with his ability to hit a gap constantly leading to tries.

Other options – Matty Ashurst, Matt Whitley, Ben Currie, Joel Tomkins

Loose Forward – Sean O’Loughlin

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Similarly to Roby, O’Loughlin has consistently been one of Super League’s top performers since his debut 18 years ago. His career may be coming to an end but that doesn’t mean he still doesn’t still have an impact. His got traits of both a forward and a back, and can add a different dimension in attack.

Other options – Tyrone McCarthy

Subs – Brad Dwyer, Joe Philbin, Matty Lees and Jack Hughes

Wigan-born Dwyer is in the form of his life, having taken on the starting hooker role at Leeds in the absence of injured Kruise Leeming. His darting runs from dummy half can cause serious problems, particularly for tired defences. Philbin and Lees both offer the punch a coach wants from his bench forwards and would not look out of place in the starting side, while Hughes is a dependable option as a wide running forward.

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