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What a Lancashire Origin side would look like in 2022

With the State of Origin continuing to be an incredible spectacle in Australia, the usual debates about rekindling the Yorkshire versus Lancashire clash always come to the fore.

This selection is based off of the current squad numbers of players for the 2021 season and is purely hypothetical given there are no plans to initiate an Origin Series any time soon.

Could this be the best team Lancashire can create to face a Yorkshire XVII?

1. Stefan Ratchford- Warrington Wolves

The Warrington fullback is consistently regarded as one of the best performing players in Super League but is one that maybe has not got the credit he is due. He is a skilful runner and has always been a very committed rugby player. As the fullback for Lancashire, Ratchford could achieve possibly his greatest performances yet. Sam Tomkins is omitted purely because he was actually born in Milton Keynes.

2. Tommy Makinson- St. Helens

One of the stand-out performers of the season last year and easily the best finisher in the game – he causes problems for any player he comes up against. Makinson is the perfect try-scoring machine and would be a sure pick for Lancashire. 

3. Kallum Watkins – Salford Red Devils

Not many people know this, but Kallum Watkins was actually born in Manchester despite spending most of his career and life with the Leeds Rhinos. And, having seemingly kickstarted his career back with the Salford Red Devils, Watkins would provide a great centre option for Lancashire.

4. Mark Percival – St Helens

It’s certainly a St Helens-heavy side, but you just cannot leave this man out. On his day he is the best centre in Super League, it’s just unfortunate that injury has plagued Mark Percival’s past few seasons. Would no doubt thrive in a representative environment such as this after making multiple appearances for England already.

5. Adam Swift – Hull FC

Prior to the 2021 season, Adam Swift wouldn’t have had a look in for such representative honours. However, the winger’s form for Hull last year was nothing short of sensational. The move to the MKM Stadium has rejuvenated his career and both he and Hull are reaping the rewards.

6. Jonny Lomax – St. Helens

Whenever discussions about the best player of the year come around, this man is always near, or at the top of, the list. Respected both here and in Australia, Jonny Lomax would surely be a cert for selection in a Lancashire XVII. 

7. Marc Sneyd – Salford Red Devils

He was at Hull for that long that you would be forgiven in thinking that Marc Sneyd is actually from Yorkshire. However, the talismanic halfback hails from Salford which makes his inclusion in this list pretty straightforward. With an incredible kicking game as well as an intelligent rugby brain, Sneyd would be a huge asset for Lancashire.

8. Matty Lees – St Helens

Having taken over from Luke Thompson as the first-choice prop, Matty Lees has gone from strength-to-strength with the added responsibility. Despite being just 23 years of age, Lees has played almost 100 games for Saints and will almost certainly add more in the near future.

9. James Roby (C) – St Helens

One of the true Super League greats, James Roby has done it all. His experience and game management are impeccable and he is the only candidate, in this writer’s opinion, that would be considered to captain a Lancashire side. 

10. Mike Cooper – Warrington Wolves

A player who knows what it is like to play in big games, Mike Cooper would be a valued edition to a Lancashire XVII. He has made over 300 appearances at club level (69 of those came with the St. George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL) and was capped eight times for England in the 2015-2016 campaign. Cooper has also played in the last three finals Warrington have got to, winning the 2019 Challenge Cup final against St. Helens. 

11. Ben Currie – Warrington Wolves

He has made six appearances in an England shirt, but many feel that Ben Currie has yet to be given a true test at representative rugby. Despite suffering from injuries in the past, his work ethic and performances for Warrington means he would definitely be in contention to be picked to represent Lancashire. 

12. Liam Farrell – Wigan Warriors

With three tries for England and over 100 for the Warriors, as well as playing in one of the most successful teams in Super League, Liam Farrell would be a welcome edition to this team. His experience of big games would be perfect for the occasion and it is doubtful whether any other eligible player is better for this position. 

13. Joe Philbin – Warrington Wolves

An extremely tenacious rugby player, Joe Philbin is one of the stars of Warrington and quite rightly so. His grit and determination on the field are plain to see and his physical presence would make a few players think twice. A certain pick for a strong Lancashire team. 


14. Brad Dwyer – Leeds Rhinos

Underused at Warrington perhaps, but finding himself to be one of the stalwarts at Leeds, Brad Dwyer never leaves anything out on the field. His compact, explosive power, as well as neat footwork, make him extremely dangerous to the opposition and he will never give up on a challenge. 

15. Sam Powell – Wigan Warriors

It’s unfortunate for Sam Powell that he is behind James Roby because, if not, the hooker would surely be the number one Origin choice for Lancashire. Having improved on a consistent basis since the departure of Michael McIlorum, Powell just has to be included.

16. Richie Myler – Leeds Rhinos

Last season, Richie Myler found the form that had been somewhat lacking in recent years. Being re-signed by Leeds after the collapse of the Toronto Wolfpack seems to have given him his magic back and he would be a vital playmaker within this team.  

17. Jordan Turner – Castleford Tigers

A transfer to Castleford ahead of the 2021 season has given Jordan Turner a new lease of life and boy is he showing what he can still do. At 32, Turner’s career looked to be winding down at Huddersfield, but the utility man has grabbed the bull by the horns and become one of the Tigers’ most important players.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Nathanael

    December 22, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Roses needs to be brought back, could easily shorted the super league season removing the round of looping fixtures so ever team plays each other home and away once only, then include a midseason break where a roses origin could be played.

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