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Percival makes DREAM team; SAINTS CENTRE IS SOLE PICK FOR OUR LOCAL SIDES.

Byline: JOHN LAWLESS Rugby League reporter sport@liverpool.com

ST HELENS centre Mark Percival is the sole representative from our local sides in the 2017 Betfred Super League Dream Team.

The team is compiled from the votes of journalists based on players' performances throughout the regular season.

Percival's excellent form for Saints got him the nod to partner Castleford's Michael Shenton in the centres but neither Widnes nor Warrington have a representative in the side. Percival said: "There are a lot of great players in Super League and to be recognised like this and put in that centre spot is a nice feeling. When I was told I was in the Dream Team the first thing I thought about was other Saints colleagues who might be in it. I think Alex Walmsley must have gone close because he's been our best player all year.

"But it's one of those things and I'm sure he'll have a chance of getting in it again."

The Dream Team is dominated by runaway league winners Castleford Tigers who supply six of the 13 players named.

Hull were the next best club in terms of representation with two players making the line-up while Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Salford Red Devils and Huddersfield Giants each had one player in the selection.

Percival's Saints team will be going head-to-head with the Tigers in the Super League semifinals on Thursday night.

He added: "Castleford have been the best team all year and they fully deserve to have six players in the Dream Team.

"They're a great side and obviously we play them this week. "We know what they've got to offer and we're going to go there with every intention of winning and getting to the Grand Final."

Saints coach Justin Holbrook is likely to name the same 19-man squad that beat Salford last time out and will make a late call on his game-day 17.

THE 2017 Betfred Super League Dream Team is: Zak Hardaker (Castleford); Greg Eden (Castleford), Michael Shenton (Castleford), Mark Percival (St Helens), Mahe Fonua (Hull); Albert Kelly (Hull), Luke Gale (Castleford); Grant Millington (Castleford), Matt Parcell (Leeds), Sebastine Ikahihifo (Huddersfield), Ben Murdoch-Masila (Salford), Mike McMeeken (Castleford), Sean O'Loughlin (Wigan).

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The 2017 Betfred Super League Dream Team including St Helens' Mark Percival (front row, fourth left) ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX.COM

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 26, 2017
Words:388
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