A tribute to Mark Percival – 100 games for St Helens

Mark Percival played his 100th game for St Helens last night and what a player he has become.

Playing 100 games for any club at just 23 years of age is a fine achievement but to do it at such a high profile Super League club like St Helens is something to be very proud of.

When growing up, just a fraction of the youngsters who play at junior level go on to make it into the three divisions of the Rugby Football League and an even smaller amount for Super League.

So for Widnes-born Percival to come through the ranks at St Helens and cement down the number four shirt is testament to him and his ability.

The centre made his debut against Leeds Rhinos on March 1 2013 as an 18-year-old and has flourished ever since.

Percival is hotly tipped to make the Super League Dream Team for the first time this year after being a clear stand-out for Saints throughout the season.

He has scored 16 tries and has kicked 95 goals in just 28 Super League games this season and is the league’s second highest points scorer with 254, only sitting behind Castleford Tigers star Luke Gale in the points scoring chart.

But it is not just his points scoring that has caught the eye. He has also grabbed 13 assists, 127 tackle busts and 32 clean breaks.

His impressive form this term has surely all but booked him on the plane to represent England at the 2017 World Cup this autumn.

Percival has already played three games for the Three Lions, having made his debut in a Test match in France last October and was also selected in Wayne Bennett’s 24-man squad for the 2016 Four Nations.

He is a decorated player as well after featuring in St Helens’ 14-6 victory over Wigan Warriors in the 2014 Grand Final, in his first proper season as a regular.

The highly-rated centre was rewarded for his performances with a new four-year deal in April which will see him remain at the Totally Wicked Stadium until the end of the 2021 campaign.

On the contract extension, he said: “I love this club. I have been here since I was 12-years-old and I want to help it win more trophies.”

And with Saints sealing a place in the semi-finals, he could well just help Justin Holbrook’s side add another piece of silverware to their trophy cabinet.

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