Walmsley 33/1 with Sporting Index to win Man of Steel

The new Super League season is now just a week away and the stage is set.

The bookies’ odds have been written and the action will unfold when defending champions St Helens host rivals Catalans Dragons next Thursday.

Super League’s title sponsor, Betfred, make Saints 9/4 favourites to win the title again this season and claim an unprecedented fourth successive Grand Final win.

There is value to be had in ambitious Catalans, buoyed by the signing of Aussie half-back Mitchell Pearce, at 6/1 with BetVictor to clinch a maiden Super League title.

The French club finished top for the first time last season and lost by only two points to St Helens at Old Trafford in the end-of-season title decider.

They are a club on the rise and Pearce is certainly a player to keep an eye on – on and off the pitch.

He is hoping the move to the south of France can reignite his career after a turbulent period in his personal life.

The Aussie playmaker split from fiancée Kristin Scott after a sexting scandal days before their scheduled 2020 wedding.

It cost the former Sydney Roosters star the captaincy at Newcastle Knights and, despite having another year on his contract at the NRL outfit, Pearce agreed a release in order to join Steve McNamara’s men on a two-year deal.

Mitchell Pearce

He worked with the Dragons boss at the Roosters and is aiming to fill the void left by compatriot James Maloney, who left Catalans at the end of last season.

“Winning a premiership doesn’t just happen, you have to work hard to achieve but I can see how hungry the boys are after last year,” said Pearce, who won an NRL title with the Roosters in 2013.

“You can see how honoured Catalans were to make the Grand Final last year, but there is a real desire to go one better.

“One thing I’ve noticed is what a tight group it is here and it’s been good to mix with the different boys.

“The French boys have been really welcoming, the English guys have too and there are a few Aussie lads here who I knew already.

“There is a great balance and a really closely-connected group. I picked up on that as soon as I walked through the door.”

Pearce’s talent is not up for debate and he is the 14/1 favourite with Betfred to win the coveted Steve Prescott Man of Steel award in 2022.

He is 3/1 with Sporting Index to earn inclusion in the Super League Dream Team as one of the half-backs.

Alex Walmsley

St Helens prop Alex Walmsley seems to get better every year and is definitely worth a punt at 33/1 with Sporting Index to be crowned Man of Steel.