Throwback: The inaugural Super League Dream Team

Drew Darbyshire
Paul Sculthorpe, Keiron Cunningham and Andy Farrell PA

(L-R) Paul Sculthorpe, Keiron Cunningham and Andy Farrell were named in the first ever Super League Dream Team

There were six representatives from Wigan and five from St Helens in the inaugural Super League Dream Team in 1996.

St Helens were crowned champions in the first season of Super League; but there was no Grand Final until two years later in 1998.

In 1996, was a neck and neck between old rivals Saints and Wigan and went down to the final game of the season. St Helens finished on 40 points, with Wigan just behind them on 39. Saints won 20 from their 22 games, whilst Wigan won 19 and drew one.

1996 Super League table

1996 Super League table

St Helens did the double that year as they beat Bradford 40-32 in a thrilling Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

Shaun McRae’s Saints five players included in the Super League Dream Team. Paul Newlove and Anthony Sullivan were in the outside-backs with Bobbie Goulding at scrum-half. Apollo Perelini was in the front-row alongside a very young Keiron Cunningham at hooker.

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Graeme West’s Wigan outfit had six representatives included. Gary Connolly was at full-back, with ‘billy whizz’ Jason Robinson being on the wing with Inga Tuigamala as his centre partner.

Legendary half-back Henry Paul partnered Goulding in the halves. Great Britain and Ireland international Terry O’Connor was at prop with Andy Farrell at loose forward.

There were only two players from clubs excluding Wigan and Saints. Paul Sculthorpe, who went on to become a Saints legend, was named in the back-row after having an outstanding season for Warrington. Australian Peter Gill of London Broncos completed the Dream Team line-up.

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1996 Super League Dream Team: Gary Connolly; Jason Robinson, Inga Tuigamala, Paul Newlove, Anthony Sullivan; Henry Paul, Bobbie Goulding; Apollo Perelini, Keiron Cunningham, Terry O’Connor, Peter Gill, Paul Sculthorpe, Andy Farrell.

1996 Super League Dream

READ MORE: The 2021 Super League Dream Team

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