By Sam Taylor
The most decorated winger in Super League history will celebrate his tenth year in a Leeds Rhinos shirt on Friday night against Hull KR.
Ryan Hall has won five Super League titles, two Challenge Cups and a World Club Challenge in blue and amber.
Hall has entertained through his barnstorming runs from returning kicks, acrobatic finishes and his infamous hair colours.
He will however go into Rhinos folklore for one night in Huddersfield in 2015. With 20 seconds to go, it looked as if the League Leaders Shield was going to Wigan and the dream of winning the ‘treble’ was over. A kick and hope from Danny McGuire evaded Giants full back Scott Grix into the arms of Hall who then ran fifty metres to send the away end into raptures. A month later they lifted the Super League trophy at Old Trafford to complete the ‘treble’.
The big stage has never phased Hall. In his first ever appearance at Old Trafford in 2008 against St Helens he showed signs of his finishing ability. He put Leeds into the lead with a vital try just before half time when he grub-kicked the ball around centre Willie Talau, before sliding into the corner in treacherous conditions.
A Lance Todd Trophy winning performance in 2014 inspired the Rhinos to their first Challenge Cup win in 15 years, scoring another memorable try using a strong handoff to make the experienced Kirk Dixon look like a rookie.
His performances on the international stage have seen him dubbed the ‘world’s best winger’. Only a handful of British players in recent years can say they have put in consistent performances against the likes of Australia and New Zealand and Hall is one of them.
Who can forget his two incredible efforts at Wembley against the Aussies in the 2011 Four Nations.
Three years later, he showed his never-die attitude when he somehow managed to get a fingertip to a ball which would have knocked the Kangaroos out of the competition in their own backyard. This was cruelly denied which still hurts every English Rugby League fan to this day.
He has now scored a record 31 tries in 31 appearances in an England shirt.
Only a major international trophy eludes Hall – something all Super League fans can all dream of in 2017.