Potter expecting competitive 2010

St Helens coach Mick Potter is expecting Super League XV to be one of the most competitive yet.

As Saints look to snatch the Super League crown from Leeds Rhinos, who have beaten them in the Grand Final three times in the last three years, Potter believes the fact that most clubs have strenghtened will help them in 2010.

But the Aussie reckons the Rhinos will lead the way once again. Speaking exclusively to Lasttackle.com, he said: “I think Leeds are still the team to beat, but I think there are plenty of other tough sides.

“You’ve got Hull, Bradford and Warrington who have got a massive amount of big names.

“I think Wakefield have strengthened, Hull KR have a couple of other players and I think Bradford will be there after missing out last year, they’ll be right back up there.

“Until you get un there and start bashing each other up, you’re not going to know who is going to be up at the top.

“You need to get your points early on, so you’re not scrambling around for them at the end of the season.”

One major change at Knowsley Road in 2010 is the loss of veteran Sean Long. The influential half-back has moved on to Hull FC and Potter says it was sad to let him leave and did so reluctantly.

“It’s a difficult position for a professional player to leave an organisation and I don’t think he wanted to leave and I believe the club wanted to keep him,” explained Potter.

“But when you’re 32 you need to look after yourself and earn as much as you can in your chosen sport.

“You can’t fit everyone under the cap and the player has made a decision to earn as much as he can and good luck to him.

“He’s got a two year contract with Hull and he’ll be good value for them. Everyone at St Helens wanted him to stay.”

Long’s new club Hull have suffered disppointing seasons over the last two years but Potter reckons the arrival of his former player and seasoned Aussie Craig Fitzgibbon will bring improvement in Super League XV.

He added: “They won’t be sleeping for too long! I’ve already watched a Hull game and they’re looking very, very good!”

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