OVER the past 10 weeks Star readers have been voting in online polls for the best Saints team, position by position, of the past decade.

Thanks to all for voting and taking part.

Here is the team selected.

St Helens Star:

1. Paul Wellens was the incumbent at the start of the decade and having won every individual honour in the noughties – Harry Sunderland, Lance Todd and Man of Steel - he was not done yet

He had just turned 30 at the start of 2010, but he still had plenty to give and chalked up 20 tries in the 2010 campaign – the last one at Knowsley Road – but the year ended in Grand Final defeat.

Joint skipper with James Graham in 2011 – the tricky year on the road at Widnes, his leadership was key as Saints again reached the Grand Final. Alas Wello’s injury in contributed to a game going away from them in last quarter.

Given the armband full time in 2012 Wellens produced a skipper’s knock to rally the team at new ground after poor start led to sacking of Royce Simmons. He netted 24 tries that year, but the following season new boss Nathan Brown had other ideas about the full back role and he was turned into a utility player.

But injury to Jonny Lomax allowed Wellens a swansong – and he took it to skipper the team to the 2014 Grand final win over Wigan.

He limped off on Good Friday 2015 and retired needing major hip surgery after years of sterling service.

Wellens was up against overseas stars Lachlan Coote and Ben Barba in the vote, but came away with a mammoth 87 per cent of the vote.

St Helens Star:

2. Tommy Makinson has just got better and better in the red vee as the decade has gone on.

He came into this season as the Golden Boot, an award for the best player in the international games, and ended it as Super League’s highest try scorer of 2019.

Strong returning the ball, Makinson’s contribution has been invaluable in starting the Saints sets off. His bravery was underlined by playing on in the Grand Final with a dislocated shoulder.

And he sure knows how to finish, with his one-handed touchdowns in the tight corners being a trademark.

Since making his debut in the 2011 season, Makinson has crossed for 132 tries, and came back strongly from the season ending knee injury sustained in 2016.

St Helens Star:

3. Mark Percival broke into the first team as an 18-year-old in 2013 and has developed into one of Super League’s best centres with pace, footwork and a deceptively tough defence.

He has scored 86 tries and kicked 225 goals for the first team, and won two Grand Finals.

St Helens Star:

4. At the turn of the decade Matt Gidley was in his final year at Saints, after signing from Newcastle in 2007.

He still had the skill and knowhow in that last year at Knowsley Road, crossing eight times in 27 matches but furnishing many a scoring pass to either Ade Gardner or Jamie Foster on the wing.

The Australian test player, with a sublime flicked-pass technique, also left a bit of a legacy with the young players he helped guide during his time at Saints.

St Helens Star:

5. Ade Gardner had been a prolific scorer in the noughties, twice topping 30 tries for the season.

His game developed with maturity, although he still managed to score 16 tries – including four tries against Hull KR – in 2010.

Injuries curtailed his appearances and strike rate. But one thing he did give was 100 per cent commitment running the ball out from the line.

After a loans spell at Hull KR in 2014, Gardner hung up his boots and went into strength and conditioning.

St Helens Star:

6. Jonny Lomax was Saints’ player of the year as stand-off in last season’s Grand Final winning squad.

Having been a utility player at wing, centre and half when he broke into the team in 2010, Lomax established himself at scrum half between 2011-13, before moving to full back.

He has returned to the halves with a vengeance, scoring 17 and then 19 tries in the last two season and being top of the assists.

St Helens Star:

7. Theo Fages was handed the seven shirt in the 2019 Grand Final winning season. He polled 55 per cent of the vote ahead of Luke Walsh 27.

The Frenchman was a key starting point for Saints attack, with his willingness to take the ball to the teeth of the line and deliver quick ball being key to the spaces eventually created out wide.

His dogged defence was also a major plus in the team effort.

St Helens Star:

8. James Graham was the readers' first pick at prop with 39 per cent of the vote.

Jammer was part of the treble winning team in 2006, and won the Man of Steel two years later.

He left Saints for NRL side Canterbury Bulldogs after two years of this decade - with his hard yards, soft hands, workrate and competitive spirit marking him out as a special player.

In 2010 Graham carried a much weaker pack than Saints had been used to - but they fell short in the Grand Final against Wigan.

He was made joint skipper the following year and led from the front in a season played away from St Helens. There was no fairytale finish - with the game going away from them in the last quarter at Old Trafford.

St Helens Star:

9. James Roby won the vote for the nine of the decade with a 78 per cent of the vote. He started his career as Cunningham’s understudy - with his speed and agility providing a contrast to the master.

But he has been his own man this decade, turning the job back into an 80-minute role with his workrate in defence complementing his vision and dynamism from dummy half.

He may have lost a yard or two in pace, but that has been compensated by his top two inches.

His maturity saw him handed the skipper's armband- captaining the side to two League Leaders shields and a Grand Final win to add to the titles won in 2006 and 14.

St Helens Star:

10. Luke Thompson took the second prop spot on 32 per cent of the vote, with Alex Walmsley close on 26.

Thompson is a prop with the world at his feet.

Pace, strength, good footwork and the ability to play long minutes mark him out as a top player who will only get better.

An international with England and Great Britain - and another player who won rings in 2014 and 19. He waltzed away with the Harry Sunderland Award last October.

St Helens Star:

11. Sia Soliola, who was signed as a centre, but really established himself as a big hitting back row was our readers first pick as second row with 46 per cent of the vote.

Soliola joined from Sydney Roosters at the start of the 2010 campaign but suffered a serious injury that ruled him out for most of the year.

His return was part of the fillip Saints needed to reach the Grand Final, where they lost to Wigan.

The popular Samoan international would enjoy four more seasons in the red vee, scoring 31 tries in 117 appearances.

His dynamic surges with the ball were matched by some special defensive efforts where he would line up the attacker and whack them.

Soliola scored a crucial try in the 2014 Grand Final win over Wigan - his last game for Saints before returning to the NRL with Canberra.

St Helens Star:

12. Zeb Taia grabbed the second spot with 28 per cent, ahead of Dom Peyroux on 20.

Taia brought guile and experience to the Saints team after joining from Gold Coast Titans.

He had already enjoyed Super League experience with Catalans - and slotted in well to a Saints side that was struggling.

His footwork and offloads have been a key component of Saints' left hand edge attack. He has scored 20 tries in 88 appearances for the Saints.

St Helens Star:

13. In a straight run off between the long-serving Jon Wilkin and skipper of the future Morgan Knowles, the former won with a 70 per cent share of the vote.

Wilkin from Hull KR ahead of the 2003 season and was groomed as Paul Sculthorpe's successor.

With a cultured left-foot kicking game and an insatiable workrate, Wilkin was an asset to the team - playing a number of positions and early on it was primarily as second row.

His versatility meant that he often put his hand up to fill in when Saints had a half back injury.

His best position, however, was number 13, going on to skipper the team during some difficult years.

He scored 94 tries in 424 appearances.