The Liam Farrell Column: Watch them go this year!

Liam Farrell and Lee Mossop at The Old Bank, Orrell
Liam Farrell and Lee Mossop at The Old Bank, Orrell

Wigan forward Farrell picks out a key player at each of the 11 other Super League clubs – and reveals who he is tipping to have a big year...

Salford: Lee Mossop.

I’m sure Lee Mossop will be using the move as a chance to really establish himself in the No.10 shirt

Liam Farrell

We’ve got Salford first up this Saturday and we’ve prepared for a really hard game. In our two games last year, we won by one try or less and they’ve added to their squad with some quality players – including my old mate Lee Mossop.

I’m sure Lee will be using the move as a chance to really establish himself in the No.10 shirt. He’s had his bad luck with injuries over the last few years and, I wouldn’t say he has a point to prove, but he’ll be wanting to make a name for himself again. He wants to be knocking on the England door again, and he has all the ability to do that.

Not only is he a quality front-rower, but I’m sure the experience he has will add to the Salford squad. Another player we will need to stop this Saturday is Justin Carney – he can be devastating when he plays well.

Warrington: Chris Hill

I know Kevin Brown has grabbed a lot of the attention following his move from Widnes, and he should add some structure to their side. They have a lot of quality, and the forward they have brought in – Crosby, Savelio and Cooper– are three of the best signings this year, but the key player for me is Chris Hill. He’ll miss the start of the season, but once he’s back he really gets them on a roll, and quick players like Matty Russell play off the back of that.

Castleford: Zak Hardaker

He got my vote for the Man of Steel in 2015, he’s a very good defensive full-back, and I’m sure he’ll be wanting to get back to that level – and push for an England recall – by playing well for Cas’ this year.

Zak will really add some class to their backline. They are always tough to beat at their place, and if they can improve their away form they’ll be even better than they have been for the last two years.

St HelenS: Jonny Lomax

I would probably have picked Matty Smith, had he not broken his leg in pre-season. But Jonny is certainly a key player for them. He came back from injury last year, and in the Four Nations he was one of our stand-out players. I think he could be a contender for the Man of Steel if he gets a good run of games under his belt.

Leeds: Matt Parcell

James Segeyaro is a big loss for them. He came in midway through last year and really lifted Leeds, helping them dominate around the ruck. For that reason, I think new signing Matt Parcell, the former Manly hooker, has a bit of weight on his shoulders as Leeds look to kick on and improve on last year.

Catalans: Greg Bird

I know they’ve lost quite a few high-profile players but they’ve also made a couple of good signings, and I think Greg Bird can be a stand-out for them. I watched him playing for Gold Coast last year and he was in great form. When I read Catalans had signed him, I thought then it was a good piece of business, and good for Super League to have a player of his quality over here.

Leigh: Martyn Ridyard

I know Leigh have signed a few players in the off-season, and they’ve got a couple of my ex-Wigan team-mates there, but I’m looking forward to seeing how Ridyard goes. As a halfback he’s in a key position, he’s been at Leigh for a few years, and it’s great that he’s now got a chance to play in Super League with them.

Widnes: Joe Mellor

If they hadn’t lost Kev Brown to Warrington, I would have said Widnes looked good. But with Kev going and not being replaced, I can’t help thinking it may be a tough year for them. Joe is injured for the start of the season but, when he’s back, he’ll have a lot more responsibility on his shoulders. Forward Chris Houston has a lot of experience, I’m sure he’ll play a big role, too.

Huddersfield: Jermaine McGillvary

I noticed they’ve given the captaincy to Leroy Cudjoe but, when it comes to getting their side rolling, I can’t look beyond my England team-mate. There are flashier wingers around, but Jermaine is one of those players who is top quality at everything he does. He gets them on the front foot.

Wakefield: Sam Williams

They did well last year and Sam Williams has been brought in from Canberra to compliment the squad. He’s experienced Super League before with Catalans, and I think he’ll be a good recruit.

Hull FC: Danny Houghton

He had a really big year and won the Man of Steel last season, and he’s been a big player for them for a while. They have a very strong pack, with the likes of Scott Taylor, Sika Manu and Mark Minichiello – they all go well for them – and Danny is a big part of their side. With a stable line-up, I expect them to be pushing for a top-three place this season.