What a Lancashire Origin team would look like in 2021

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.

Surprisingly, it is not St. Helens who have the most selections, given that they are Super League Champions. There are also a couple of players in here that may be a surprise to some.

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

1. Stephan 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.

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

Returning from the NRL to join his hometown club, Kallum Watkins is hoping that this season he can really put his foot down and get back to his best. He has the bit between his teeth this and would surely welcome a Lancashire selection. 

4. Oliver Gildart- Wigan Warriors

A young player who already has a lot of rugby league experience, winning the Grand Final twice with Wigan in 2016 and 2018. Gildart has also played for Great Britain and is a safe bet for England squads of the future. Selection in an Origin Series would be the perfect way for him to gain more representative rugby experience. 

5. Josh Charnley- Warrington Wolves

A Lancashire team without the skills of this man in defence and his ability to find the try line would be lacking. He has scored 222 tries at club and International level and is one of the best players of the last decade.  

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. Danny Richardson- Castleford Tigers

A former Dream Team half-back, Danny Richardson is picking himself up after his time at St. Helens. A player with so much promise, he was pushed out of his position by French international Theo Fages and has struggled to get back to his previous form ever since. However, after settling in at the Tigers, Richardson has shown he still has the potential to be a great asset to any team. This season, he has a point to prove.

8. Chris Hill- Warrington Wolves

Stepping down from his captaincy at the Wolves, Chris Hill says he will be able to concentrate more on his individual game, which some may argue he needs to do to carry on being selected for representative rugby. An Origin Series would be the ideal vehicle for him to prove the doubters wrong at a higher-than-club level without the added responsibility of being captain. 

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 appeared three hundred times 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

Even though he is a player who has been picked for both the Irish and English squads, 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 close to a hundred 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. Joe Greenwood- Huddersfield Giants

The former Wigan Warrior, with forty-two tries and one hundred and forty two appearances to his name, is a good fit within this team. A player in the defeat to St. Helens in the 2020 Grand Final, Greenwood showed himself to be a player who is ready for more responsibility. 

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. Matty Ashton- Warrington Wolves

A young player with only one season of Super League to his name, but scoring thirty-nine tries in thirty-seven appearances for Warrington and Swinton, the future looks extremely bright for Matty Ashton. With the ability he has, Ashton could play a range of positions and be a thorn in the side for the opposition.

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