St Helens coach Kristian Woolf believes Tommy Makinson is up there with the world’s best wingers ahead of his testimonial match.
Woolf first came across Makinson when the winger played for England against New Zealand in 2018, where he went on to claim the Golden Boot award for being the best international player that year.
Makinson is celebrating a decade of being at St Helens this season, with his testimonial match taking place on Saturday against Leigh.
Woolf believes Makinson is one of the best wingers in the game at present and has praised the speedster for his work off the field as well as on it.
Woolf said: “Tommy is an outstanding player. I’ve had the privilege of dealing with some outstanding wingers like Daniel Tupou and David Fusitu’a – they are some of the best wingers in the world and the reason they are so good is because they are big, powerful men, can jump and have got all these good traits and when you look at Tommy, he is a completely different player to them but does everything they can.
“The way he carries the ball, the strength he’s got when he does carry the ball and that comes from his intent and way he wants to carry the ball. He’s got real speed and evasiveness about him.
“What I love about Tommy is that he’s a terrific finisher, the way he can finish is second to none but what I love about Tommy the most is his influence off the field as well.
“He is a really positive character, he is a terrific bloke around the group and he is always happy and positive.
“He’s got a great strut about him, he’s a good looking bloke and he is a positive bloke to have in your group. I love what he brings on the field but I also love what he brings off the field.”
Makinson has scored 138 tries in 245 appearances for Saints, winning three Super League titles in the process. He has also been named in the Super League Dream Team three times.
Woolf added: “If you are a front-rower, then you want Tommy Makinson in your team.
“He takes 18 to 20 carries every game and he does them so well that he tends to get you on the front foot as well.
“He’s terrific to have in your team and I know all our players feel the same way. They really regard him as a player but really regard him as a team-mate as well.”
Fans can watch Makinson’s testimonial on Our League as reigning champions St Helens welcome Super League newcomers Leigh to the Totally Wicked Stadium on Saturday (6pm) for £5.