Danny Sculthorpe - Dream 13

Danny Sculthorpe - Dream 13 widnesvikings.co.uk

12th June 2017

This weekend saw the completion of the Betfred Super League State of Mind Round. To celebrate this, the Vikings are sharing Danny Sculthorpe's Dream 13 feature from the matchday magazine, One Club. In this, Danny picks his dream team from the players he's played alongside and discusses his inspirational work with State of Mind.

Find out why despite playing for England A and making 136 Super League appearances, he says that his proudest career achievements have been made off the field...

Danny's Dream 13...

Full Back- Brett Hodgson:

"Brett always looked like he had all the time in the world. He wasn't the biggest, heaviest or fastest, but he could always find space and that perfect pass.

"I'm not surprised at all that he's made the move into coaching with Widnes Vikings. He was very analytical and could read the game so well."

Wingers - Brett Dallas and Brian Carney:

"Brett was all about pace. Any bit of space he'd find, he'd be off like a shot! He could score from anywhere on the pitch."

"Brian brought great strength to the team and really worked the hard yards. He could score from long range or short range. He was the perfect winger."

Centres - Gary Connolly and Kevin Brown:

"Gary was ridiculously strong - everyone hated doing wrestling training with him! On the pitch, once he caught you, there was no way he was letting you go. He was very skilled, calm on the ball and could find space."

"Kev was really skilful with his hands and feet. He could kick 40-20s, but also deliver a lovely short kicking game. A brilliant centre."

Stand off - Danny Brough:

"Danny is tenacious and full of attitude - an angry man, who hates losing! He has lots of confidence, which is exactly what you need in a halfback. He has possibly the best kicking game I've seen."

Scrum Half - Adrian Lam: 

"Adrian was a freak when he had the ball in his hands! He could just find space and deliver miracle passes. He didn't have speed, or all the abilities, but he had an incredible rugby league brain and read the game so well."

Prop Forwards - Quentin Pongia and Danny Nutley;

"He was as hard as nails - end of! His toughness used to put the opposition off their game. We used to do a lot of wrestling and boxing at Wigan, and no one liked going up against him!" 

"An absolute workhorse, who could play for 70 minutes and make 30-40 tackles a game. He was rock hard - not physical in the same way as Quentin, but he could take everything that came his way. Every team needs a Danny!"

Hooker - Terry Newton:

"I would have hated to play against Terry! He had skill, could kick, could pass - and was so tough. On the field he was the perfect player and a great lad off the field too, as one of my best friends. I miss him every day."

Second Row - Dave Furner and Gareth Hock:

"Dave was super fit, a good goal kicker and had everything. A brilliant player and just so strong."

"Like Terry, Gaz was the type of player who the opposition couldn't keep track of. He could have been one of the best ever players, if he had the mindset he has now when he was younger. He had size, skill and speed. He is a really great lad, with a good heart."

Loose Forward - Andy Farrell: 

"Andy was just an incredible professional. He'd do a 6 mile run before our weight sessions, or get back on the field after training to practice his kicking. I actually famously accidentally broke his nose in a game - luckily he forgave me! He could play in any position. Just a complete athlete."

On life after Widnes...

"I had a tough time when I was at Widnes Vikings. I was in a bad place physically and mentally, and that affected my playing. I couldn't train as hard as I wanted because I'd had back surgery, so it was very difficult. But, I'll always be thankful to the Club for giving me the opportunity to try and rebuild my career.

"During my career, I struggled with depression. I've been really proud to raise awareness of mental health issues in retirement, with the charity State of Mind. We know that we're making a difference in our work. More than 25 people have changed their mind about taking their own life because of State of Mind. Over 200 players have sought help for mental health issues since 2011. It shows we're helping to remove the stigma around mental health issues.

"I'm proud of my career as a Rugby League player, but nothing comes close to this experience with State of Mind. I'm now training to become a councillor and looking forward to the future. I've never been as happy as I am now."

For more information on State of Mind, visit: www.stateofmindsport.org.

Widnes Vikings also run the brilliant 'Offload' programme on a weekly basis at the Halton Stadium, which aims to promote positive mental health in men. Click here to find out more about this inspiring project.

Danny Sculthorpe - Dream 13 widnesvikings.co.uk