My Ultimate Team: Kyle Amor names his greatest XIII from players he played alongside

Drew Darbyshire
Kyle Amor Ultimate Team

Kyle Amor has named the greatest XIII of players he played alongside during his career

Former Super League champion turned Sky Sports pundit Kyle Amor is our second guest on My Ultimate Team, a new feature hitting Love Rugby League this year.

The Cumbrian prop enjoyed a trophy-laden career, winning five Super League titles, four League Leaders’ Shields and a Challenge Cup with St Helens.

Amor played for Ireland on the international stage too, representing his heritage in the 2017 World Cup.

The 36-year-old spent the majority of his career at Saints – nine seasons, in fact – but he also spent time at Whitehaven, Leeds, Wakefield, Warrington (loan) and Widnes before hanging his boots up in 2023. He now works as a pundit on Sky Sports’ rugby league team.

Speaking exclusively to Love Rugby League, Amor named his ultimate XIII of players he played alongside during his playing career…

1. Jack Welsby

Jack Welsby St Helens Alamy
Jack Welsby scoring a try for St Helens

It was a difficult one this because I’ve played with three exceptional full-backs, and they’d all be for different reasons. Ben Barba – what he could do – was absolutely incredible, I’ver never seen another player like him but obviously it was only for one season over here.

There was Lachlan Coote who was amazing as well but I think Jack Welsby, with what he’s done and achieved in the game so far, is incredible. I think he surpasses everybody.

I think Jack Welsby is the only bloke who can come anywhere near Sam Tomkins in my era. I think what he’s already done already… I think if he carries on that way he will surpass Sam Tomkins as the greatest full-back in the Super League era.

INSIDE THE DEAL: How St Helens fended off the NRL to secure Jack Welsby long-term

2. Tommy Makinson

Tommy Makinson

No doubt about this one, he’s just an incredible winger.

3. Dean Collis

Dean Collis Wakefield Trinity Alamy

A bit left field this one but in terms of silky, classy centres: Dean Collis at Wakefield. He had injuries and whatnot but he had this amazing flick pass that would always find wingers. I thought he was just a classy centre.

4. Mark Percival

Mark Percival

I believe that Percival and Makinson, with the way they carry the ball out of back field, were such a huge part of Saints’ dynasty.

I know from speaking to other teams, it was so difficult to contain those two from a kick chase before the big ball carriers took over. You just let Percival get on with it, he’s a special player.

5. Ryan Hall

Ryan Hall Leeds Rhinos Alamy

Obviously I was only at Leeds for a couple of games but Ryan Hall… What a player. He’s only a few tries away from Danny McGuire in the all-time try-scorers.

I know the role has changed over the last seven or eight years, but wingers are there to score tries. What Ryan Hall and Tommy Makinson do out of back field at every level is brilliant and they are still going at the top.

6. Jonny Lomax

Jonny Lomax St Helens Alamy

Without doubt, Jonny Lomax. He is a creator, he’s almost an artist himself because he can make a game look so simple.

Jonny is a tough half, he defends well, but his ability to read the game, pick off short sides, etc. If you’ve got Jonny Lomax in your side you know you aren’t going to go far wrong. He’s a leader, I remember being a middle and he’d talk to me early in the sets.

7. Tim Smith

Tim Smith Wakefield Trinity Alamy

It’s a big call but I think he probably able to read the game more than Jonny! He was like two or three plays ahead, he just had his troubles off the field. He was a young Dally M when he was over in Aus, but on his day he was sensational.

8. James Graham

James Graham St Helens Alamy

The ultimate player that everybody looked up to, the person who everyone wanted to be like, whether it was Jammer’s ability to move the ball, do the tough stuff, his leadership, he’s never giving attitude.

The same with Jamie Peacock, you think back nostalgically to Great Britain and England, the Saints and Leeds battles, and they were at the heart of that.

Both of them two, certainly as young front-rowers coming through, they were the ones I was excited to play against and luckily I got to play with Jammer right at the very end and I’m still good mates with him today. We only had a season together and we managed to win the Grand Final and I just think with Jammer, he never takes a backwards step.

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9. James Roby

James Roby St Helens Alamy

Robes was pretty good, wasn’t he? I think I played with Danny Buderus at Leeds as well who is another good one! Robes was Robes, everyone knows how good he was.

10. Jamie Peacock

Jamie Peacock Leeds Rhinos Alamy

The toughest and hardest of front-rowers, certainly within my time in the game.

11. Zeb Taia

Zeb Taia St Helens Alamy

I thought he was awesome. He was there at the beginning of our dynasty in 2019, such a good fella. He had the skill, could create tries, scored tries. You want your back-rowers to be tough and to score tries, you almost want that hybrid between a front-rower and a bit of flair of a centre, so I think Zeb Taia was brilliant.

12. Ali Lauitiiti

Ali Lauitiiti Wakefield Trinity Alamy

I particularly feel in my time that Ali Lauitiiti was the one who everyone wished they had the ability of, and again, just a really nice and humble man. I had to carshare him every single day to training at Wakefield and the big fella used to fall asleep everyday after training and he’d wake up every time near Burger King, and he’d always say ‘let’s get a milkshake!’.

I wasn’t even playing in 2004 but you just watched him around that time… He was just unbelievable. He used to make the ball look like a peanut!

13. Morgan Knowles

Morgan Knowles is back in contention for Saints

It’s got to be Morgs, he has been fantastic hasn’t he? I’ll get a Cumbrian in there of course! He has an unbelievable ability to defend. He’s a bit like Tommy Leuluai in that people don’t like running at him because he can whack people.

I think he’s just a good all-rounder and it’s nice to see him being given the vice-captaincy at Saints, I think it’s a smart move. He’s the future of the club alongside Jack (Welsby) and, more often than not, Morgan does what is right for the team.

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