Tommy Makinson backed for England place after hitting a century of tries

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

St Helens winger Tommy Makinson crossed for his 100th career try on Easter Monday.

Makinson, 26, has reached a ton in 176 career appearances, all for Saints since making his debut against Salford in 2011.

Wigan-born, he joined Saints at a young age from Wigan St Judes and scored against his hometown club in the 2014 Super League Grand Final win.

That year was his best, scoring 29 tries in 31 games, following that up with 20 in 25 in 2015.

An injury-hit 2016 restricted him to four tries and he only managed six in 31 games in 2017. Despite not crossing the whitewash as often as he may have liked, Makinson contributed a mammoth 3217 metres to the Saints cause last season, at an average of more than 100m a game.

He has dabbled in goal kicking over the years too, with 106 successful for Saints, usually as a back-up to the regular goal kicker.

His now trademark flying finish in the corner enabled him to add two to his tally against Widnes at the Halton Stadium and with Saints flying high in the Super League table, he’ll be expecting to get plenty more by the time the season is out.

Coach Justin Holbrook said: “He’s a great finisher isn’t he? For him to bring up the 100 it’s a great achievement for him.

“He’s a great player and he’s a pleasure to coach, sport I’m really pleased for him.”

It is somewhat surprising that Makinson has not been able to force his way in to the international reckoning.

He was named in Wayne Bennett’s elite performance squad last May, but didn’t earn himself a place in the World Cup squad.

Along with team mates Jonny Lomax, Mark Percival, James Roby and Alex Walmsley, he has been named in the elite squad once again and will finally be hoping to get that England cap under his belt.

He has pulled on an England shirt of sorts in the past, appearing for the England Knights in their defeat of Samoa ahead of the 2013 World Cup.

Perhaps unfortunate that Leeds’ Ryan Hall and Huddersfield’s Jermaine McGillvary, two of England’s top performers Down Under last autumn, have been around at the same time, Makinson will certainly be knocking on the door this year.

Team mate Jon Wilkin said: “He is an international standard winger who I think is knocking on the door of the England squad.

“He’s been incredible this year and there’s not a guy I’d rather see carry that ball than Tommy Makinson at the moment.”

Makinson will be hoping to add to his tally when Saints face Hull on Friday.

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