2023 NRL Player Movements
4 months ago | LeagueUnlimited Media
The 21 man squads for Saturday's Grand Final at Old Trafford, together with Justin's preview of the Saints-Rhinos clash.
Sky Sports (UK) and Fox League (AU) will broadcast the decider with coverage beginning an hour before kickoff.
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Referees: Liam Moore;Sideline Officials: Jack Smith, Warren Turley;Video Referees: Ben Thaler;
1. Jack Welsby 2. Tom Makinson 3. Will Hopoate 4. Mark Percival 6. Jonny Lomax 9. James Roby 10. Matty Lees 11. Sione Mata'utia 12. Joe Batchelor 13. Morgan Knowles 14. Joey Lussick 15. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook 16. Curtis Sironen 17. Agnatius Paasi 19. Jake Wingfield 20. James Bell 21. Josh Simm 22. Ben Davies 23. Konrad Hurrell 24. Dan Norman 27. Jonathan Bennison
4. Liam Sutcliffe 5. Ash Handley 6. Blake Austin 8. Mikolaj Oledzki 9. Kruise Leeming 10. Matt Prior 11. James Bentley 12. Rhyse Martin 13. Zane Tetevano 14. Brad Dwyer 16. Richie Myler 17. Cameron Smith 19. Bodene Thompson 20. Tom Briscoe 22. Sam Walters 24. Jarrod O’Connor 25. James Donaldson 28. Muizz Mustapha 29. Liam Tindall 32. Jack Sinfield 33. Zak Hardaker
with Justin Davies
The Super League competition comes to a dramatic conclusion when St Helens take on Leeds Rhino in the decider in Manchester on Saturday night.
St Helens are the class of the Super League competition. They have won three straight titles and are aiming for a fourth on the weekend after winning the League Leader Shield by six points in dominant fashion.
Coach Kristian Woolf has a side filled with talent shown by Man of Steel candidate fullback Jack Welsby who was a Grand Final hero in 2020 and has made the position his own moving Tommy Makinson to the wing.
The Saints won a close semi-final 19-12 against Salford Red Devils off the kicking game of five-eighth Jonny Lomax alongside the work from Makinson and Welsby will be key to them raising the trophy once again.
They will be boosted by the inclusion of Morgan Knowles who won his appeal against a suspension in his second opportunity. St Helens side is littered with proven experience including forward Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.
Leeds Rhinos have capped a marvelous turnaround since May to feature in the Grand Final. Coach Rohan Smith has transformed the team and knocked off Wigan and Huddersfield on their way after finishing fifth.
Their win to make the finals was dramatic in a late win over Castleford due to an Aidan Sezer four-pointer. Sezer will be missing the Grand Final due to concussion after a shoulder charge from John Bateman last week.
They will have two major inclusions in back Ash Handley and goal kicking wizard Rhyse Martin who has kicked over 30 consecutive goals. So, if it is tight, Martin might make the difference from the boot on Saturday night.
It has been a long wait for the Rhinos to make it back to the decider and they will relish the challenge to knock off the champions. Blake Austin, Richie Myler and Kruse Leeming will be their gamebreakers in what shapes up to be a massive game.
Players to Watch: At points in the season, St Helens have been the undeniable force and much of that is off the work done by Jonny Lomax. He set up three tries last week and pulls the strings for the Saints and his combination with Joe Batchelor is top class. In the pack, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook is the leader for the Saints. The veteran forward alongside James Roby have plenty of experience on the big stage so will be ready for the moment. It might be a time for them go out on a high.
Kruise Leeming has been in good form for Leeds Rhinos and the hooker's work through the middle against the big Saints pack will be key. He scored in the win over Wigan Warriors and his match up with veteran dummy-half James Roby should be fantastic. The Rhinos have a solid forward pack in their own right. Matt Prior, Rhyse Martin, Zane Tetevano and Brad Dwyer are all names that will stand up. Prior and Tetevano have won titles before so they will be ready for the stage.
Last time they met: St Helens 42 defeated Leeds Rhinos 12
The Favourite: St Helens are the juggernaut in the Super League and won the last three finals so they are the dragon that needs to be slayed.
Tip: Saints by 12