Steve Prescott Man of Steel, Retirement and First Player to Leave. Here are 21 more predictions for the upcoming Super League XXII season…
The Full Package: Castleford Tigers have arguably made the best off-season signings for 2017, including fullback Zak Hardaker, former Brisbane winger Greg Eden and forward Jesse Sene-Lefao. Castleford Tigers have one of the best squads heading into 2017, and they will definitely have the full package in the upcoming season.
Steve Prescott Man of Steel: Chris Hill, Albert Kelly and George Williams are amongst some of the bookies’ favourites for Man of Steel in 2017, but England international John Bateman will pick up the award just in time for England’s campaign in the World Cup.
Super League Dream Team Must: Zak Hardaker, Luke Gale and James Roby should all be close to making Dream Teams. However, 2017 is a year you must have Hull FC tackling machine Danny Houghton.
Retirement: There could be a few Super League names ending their careers at the end of 2017, and if injuries don’t improve, Sean O’Loughlin will be the next big name to hand the boots. The 34-year-old England international has had more than his fair share of injuries, and 2017 could be his last.
The Biggest Strugglers: With the shock loss of captain Kevin Brown at the end of 2016, Widnes look set for a challenging season in the Super League XXII campaign. They had a quiet off-season within the transfer market, and a lot of pundits and fans alike have predicted them for bottom place in 2017.
Breakout Star: Warrington Wolves fullback Jack Johnson looks set for a big year. Warrington stars such as Kevin Brown and captain Chris Hill have predicted a big year for the player, and so do we.
Coach of the Season: If Warrington end their 60 plus year trophy hoodoo, it could be Tony Smith. However, Castleford’s Daryl Powell looks like he could lead his side into a top four finish, landing him the Coach of the Season Award.
First Player to Leave: Home sickness has always impacted Australian players in the Super League, with names such as James Segeyaro and Daniel Vidot returning to Australia. However, Leigh’s Glenn Stewart will be first to leave in 2017.
Leigh’s Life: With a squad of 29 players, Leigh look solid ahead of the Super League season. However, as Salford have shown in the past, you cannot buy success in Rugby League’s top division. It will be a long, hard road for the Centurions in the top flight.
Battle of the Chairmen: With Leigh’s promotion, Marwan Koukash finds himself with competition against Derek Beaumont for the Battle of the Chairmen. Both are outspoken, confident inclusions in the sport and will no doubt make headlines within 2017.
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