With the start of the 2021 Super League season just days away, we take a look at the 12 teams who will be battling it out for glory in the competition this year.
The first of our four-part series of team profiles sees us look at Castleford Tigers, Catalans Dragons and Huddersfield Giants.
Plus, Sky Sports rugby league pundit Barrie McDermott picks out a player to watch for each team this year…
- Super League 2021: Pundit predictions
Home ground: Mend-A-Hose Jungle
Head coach: Daryl Powell.
Captain: Michael Shenton.
Last season: Eighth.
Ins: Niall Evalds (Salford Red Devils), Suaia Matagi, Jordan Turner (both Huddersfield Giants, Matagi on loan), Lewis Bienek (Hull FC).
Outs: Mike McMeeken (Catalans Dragons), Bailey Hodgson (Newcastle Knights), Lewis Carr (Dewsbury Rams), Calum Turner (Newcastle Thunder), Matt Cook (Widnes Vikings), Junior Moors (Featherstone Rovers).
Barrie’s player to watch: Jacques O’Neill – It’s his spirit and his guile everybody is attracted to, but I like to look at a player, see who he reminds me of and some of his traits remind me a lot of Terry Newton. That’s a stamp of approval me and Terry O’Connor don’t throw around very often.
Home ground: Stade Gilbert Brutus.
Head coach: Steve McNamara.
Captain: Benjamin Garcia.
Last season: Fourth, eliminated in play-off semi-finals.
Ins: Gil Dudson (Salford Red Devils), Mike McMeeken (Castleford Tigers), Dean Whare (Penrith Panthers).
Outs: David Mead (Brisbane Broncos), Lewis Tierney (Leigh Centurions), Remi Casty (Toulouse Olympique), Antoni Maria, Sam Moa (both Lezignan), Lucas Albert, Mika Simon (both Carcassone).
Barrie’s player to watch: Julian Bousquet – He’s the man who is going to have to step into Remy Casty’s shoes. ‘The Bus’, as me and Bill Arthur like to call him, has a big go-forward game, an offload which he has refined, but where he can really add value is being a strong presence in the changing rooms.
Home ground: John Smith’s Stadium.
Head coach: Ian Watson.
Captain: Aidan Sezer.
Last season: Seventh.
Ins: Jack Ashworth (St Helens), Jack Cogger (Canterbury Bulldogs), Ricky Leutele (Melbourne Storm), Josh Jones (Hull FC), Luke Yates (Salford Red Devils), Joe Greenwood (Wigan Warriors), George Roby (Warrington Wolves), James Cunningham, Olly Ashall-Bott (both free agents).
Outs: Jordan Turner, Suaia Matagi (both Castleford Tigers, Matagi on loan), Reiss Butterworth (Dewsbury Rams), Adam Walne (Barrow Raiders), Akuila Uate (retired).
Barrie’s player to watch: Jake Wardle – The performances he put in last year on that left edge were really special. He’s very reminiscent of Paul Newlove. He can provide an opportunity for his winger but also finish. We saw on several occasions he can break open a game, and he can chase back and save tries.
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