With the World Cup edging closer, we take a look at a dream XIII of Super League stars who could feature for their nations in the upcoming tournament.
Lachlan Coote – Scotland
The St Helens full-back has won titles in both the NRL with North Queensland Cowboys and in the Super League with St Helens, and represents Scotland on the international scene.
Coote made three appearances for Scotland in 2016 in the Four Nations, making his debut against his homeland Australia, while claiming the man of the match award in their history-making 18-18 draw with New Zealand.
He has since made one appearance for Great Britain against Tonga in their 2019 tour Down Under.
Kevin Naiqama – Fiji
While best known for his time in the centres, the Fijian star has been named on the wing for this dream XIII.
The former NRL back made his Fiji debut in the 2009 Pacific Cup, and the skipper showed his passion for Fiji in an emotional post-match interview after leading his side to a stunning 4-2 victory over New Zealand at the 2017 World Cup.
Brad Takairangi – Cook Islands
Takairangi links up with Tony Smith and Hull KR ahead of the 2021 Super League season on a two-year deal, and a strong year could see the utility player called up to represent Cook Islands.
To date, the centre or back-rower has made seven appearances for Cook Islands, while representing New Zealand at the 2017 World Cup.
Konrad Hurrell – Tonga
Konrad Hurrell has been a fan’s favourite at all clubs his career has taken him so far.
He made his Tonga debut at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, and Kristian Woolf’s side have proved to be one of the best teams on the international scene in recent times, listed as fourth on the IRL World Rankings.
Regan Grace – Wales
The 24-year-old has proved to be one of the most skilful, fastest wingers in the Super League competition, and was arguably unlucky not to get a call-up to Great Britain in 2019.
The winger made his Wales debut before his first-team debut for St Helens in 2017, and featured at the 2017 World Cup and the 2019 World Cup 9s.
Theo Fages – France
Representing France in our Dream XIII, Theo Fages captained his home nation in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup and the 2018 European Championship.
The St Helens stand-off had another impressive season in 2020, partnering with England star Jonny Lomax, both helping St Helens win their second consecutive Super League crown.
Tui Lolohea – Tonga
The former New Zealand Warriors and Wests Tigers playmaker made the switch to the Super League in 2019 with Leeds, before joining Salford.
With more than 10 caps for Tonga and with head coach Woolf within Super League, it’s likely that Lolohea could be representing his country at the upcoming World Cup.
Alex Walmsley – England
The best in-form prop of the 2020 Super League competition, Alex Walmsley will no doubt have caught the attention of Shaun Wane ahead of the World Cup.
He was a major part of St Helens’ success with 10 tries in 2020, and was selected in Super League’s Dream Team.
With James Graham hanging up his boots, we could see Walmsley start for England this year.
Michael McIlorum – Ireland
The former England number nine has most recently represented Ireland, and is said to be keen to represent the Wolfhounds again in 2021.
McIlorum was selected by head coach Stuart Littler at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, and could be named again this year.
Korbin Sims – Fiji
Another newcomer in the Super League, Korbin Sims, brother of Ashton and Tariq, signed a two-year deal with Hull KR.
Representing Fiji on this list alongside Naiqama, Sims featured at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, scoring a try on his international debut against Ireland.
Featuring again in 2015 against Papua New Guinea in the inaugural Melanesia Cup and 2016 against Samoa, Sims missed out on the 2017 World Cup due to injury, but could be called back up again in 2021.
Sione Mata’utia – Samoa
Sione Mata’utia will bring a lot of excitement to both St Helens and Super League, agreeing to a three-year contract with the Totally Wicked Stadium side.
He became Australia’s youngest ever test player when he played against England, aged 18 years and 129 days, eclipsing Israel Folau’s seven-year-old record by 65 days.
However, in this Dream XIII he represents Samoa, having also earned a cap for the side.
John Bateman – England
One of the best players in the modern game, John Bateman will no doubt be the first name on Wane’s squad for the upcoming tournament.
The 2019 Dally M second rower of the year quickly established himself as a fan’s favourite at Canberra Raiders in the NRL, and returns to Wigan on a four-year deal, and has been handed the number 13 shirt following skipper Sean O’Loughlin’s retirement.
Michael Lawrence – Jamaica
Representing Jamaica, Michael Lawrence featured against England Knights at Headingley Stadium in 2019.
Having defeated Canada and 2013 quarter-finalists USA, Jamaica’s Reggae Warriors qualified for their first ever tournament for 2021 and will be an exciting addition to the tournament under coach Jermaine Coleman.
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