Six Tackles: Best Super League Centres of 2017

Here at Love Rugby League, we have picked out six of the most impressive centres in the Betfred Super League this term.

Michael Shenton (Castleford Tigers)

Michael Shenton has had arguably the best season of his career. He has captained hometown club Castleford Tigers to success with the League Leaders’ Shield and has guided them to the 2017 Betfred Super League Grand Final while also picking up an individual honour in being selected in the Super League Dream Team for the third time.

The 31-year-old has made 24 Super League appearances for Daryl Powell’s Tigers in 2017, scoring six tries. The ex-St Helens star has grabbed 19 assists and has been a big part of Castleford’s season, forming a strong partnership with Super League’s top try-scorer, Greg Eden.

Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors)

The 21-year-old won the Young Player of the Year awarded at the Steve Prescott Man of Steel awards evening on Tuesday, voted for by his peers.

Gildart, the son of former Wigan star Ian Gildart, seems older than 21 because he has been around for quite a few years now but has a lot of big game experience, having already won a World Club Challenge and Super League while having been a finalist in the Challenge Cup and another Super League.

He picked was out for three months following an injury at Leeds in March but he came back even stronger. He has scored 15 tries in 20 games for the Cherry and Whites this year.

Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos)

The England international is certainly back to his best this year and just in time for the World Cup too, which is a big bonus for England boss Wayne Bennett.

He always seems to manage to create something from nothing and is one of the most exciting players to watch in Super League, with his pace and footwork always troubling defences. He has played 27 Super League games in 2017, scoring 12 tries and kicking 45 goals.

He has busted 60 tackles and made 40 offloads which is impressive for a centre. The 26-year-old also helps the forwards out as well, taking in 375 carries.

Bill Tupou (Wakefield Trinity)

Bill Tupou has become a fan favourite at the Beaumont Legal Stadium this year, with his explosive carries. He has taken in 324 drives, made 21 clean breaks and bust 47 tackles this season.

He has a fine combination with speedster Mason Caton-Brown and has provided six assists for Trinity this term. But he has also crossed the line 13 times in 25 games in Super League this season, including an 11-minute hat-trick in Wakefield’s 42-30 away win at Wigan Warriors.

It will certainly be interesting to see if the 27-year-old makes the cut for the Tonga squad for the World Cup.

Mark Percival (St Helens)

The 23-year-old has been immense this year and has racked up 254 points for the Saints this season, scoring 16 tries as well as 95 goals. This season has been the biggest try-scoring season for him while it has also been the biggest goal-scoring year for the Saints Academy product.

He has busted a whopping 127 tackles and has come up with 13 assists as well as making 2,879 metres. His superb performances saw him rewarded with a spot alongside Michael Shenton in the centres in the 2017 Super League Dream Team.

The Widnes-born star has earned three caps for England so far in his career but is yet to play in a World Cup, However, he is surely set to be included in Wayne Bennett’s squad this autumn.

Jake Webster (Castleford Tigers)

The 33-year-old is coming towards the back end of his career but he is showing no signs of slowing down.

He has been highly-respected at every club he has been at. Starting with when he became the first Melbourne-born player to play for Melbourne Storm and he went on to score 28 tries in 49 games for the club.

The New Zealand international then had spells with Gold Coast Titans and Hull Kingston Rovers before joining Castleford in 2013. He has gone under the radar slightly this year owing to the flashy displays from Luke Gale, Zak Hardaker and Greg Eden, but he has scored 14 tries in 24 Super League games.

Webster causes mayhem with his powerful carries but he works hard in defence too, making 410 tackles and he could pick up silverware with the Tigers on Saturday.

Do you agree with our decisions? Or should someone else be in the list? Let us know in the comments below.

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