Super League powers: A potent six-pack to toast the opening of a new season

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The Independent Online
Mark Carroll

London Broncos

A REMARKABLE capture for the English game, Carroll would, on last season's form with Manly, have been a strong contender for any World XIII. Big and powerful in both attack and defence, he is a prop with the ability to dominate opposing packs. A true renaissance man, he also plans to use his stint in London to advance his ambitions in the music business. Known as Spud, because of his appetite for the humble potato, he wears size 15 boots.

Steve Craven


UNTIL the end of last season, Craven was still a postman in York, so he now gets his first chance to concentrate exclusively on his rugby. A prop or second-row, Craven is all lean muscle. His pace - honed by fleeing vicious dogs - is so startling that he runs with the wingers in training, and he has all the makings of a top-class forward. He will carry a heavy burden in a promoted side this season, but has the potential to deliver the goods.

Barrie-Jon Mather


THE former Wigan centre has returned from Australia, where he struggled to make an impact, as a much-improved player. His defence is more decisive and he still has the ability to make long-striding breaks. Fears that his jaw was broken in the cup defeat by Sheffield have been allayed, so he should be fit to start the season. Named - but mis-spelt - in honour of the Welsh fly-half by a father who played prop for Blackpool Borough A team.

Danny Moore


A FORMER team-mate of Carroll at Manly, where he built a reputation as one of the best centres in Australia, Moore is a solid and reliable performer. He already looks capable of providing even more running opportunities for Jason Robinson. The way Moore released Robinson with a one-handed pass for a try against St Helens in the cup had Wigan fans recalling the season when Gene Miles did the same for Martin Offiah... and again... and again.

Steve Molloy


MOLLOY is the best example of a British player too good not to be in Super League, but stranded elsewhere. His contract wrangle with Featherstone threatened to keep him out for a long period, but Sheffield eventually prised him loose and the Great Britain prop is intent on making up for lost time. Cup-tied during Sheffield's recent exploits, he will play alongside Paul Broadbent and Dale Laughton making the Eagles look fearsome up front.

Tevita Vaikona


THE Tongan centre was the undoubted star of Hull's promotion campaign last season, but was controversially allowed to leave during the winter. Apart from the attraction of Bradford's money, there were some at Hull who felt that his defence was too unreliable for Super League. Still, he has speed and flair in abundance and it is that, rather than more sheer power, that Bradford will need this season if they are to maintain their momentum.