Huddersfield hooker Kruise Leeming can measure his rising career against the best in Super League on Thursday night.
England Knights international Leeming was the key man as the Giants ended their losing start to the season with a backs-to-the-wall win at Wigan on Friday.
The 23-year-old believes the next step for him is to challenge for a full England place – with opposite number James Roby among those currently in front of him.
Saints veteran Roby tops the early Steve Prescott Man of Steel voting despite missing last week’s win over London, and Leeming sees him as the ultimate marker for no.9s in this country.
Leeming said: “He’s probably my favourite player and has been from growing up.
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“What he does is outstanding – he keeps going, gets on with his work and it’s amazing what he produces.
“If I could have half the career he’s had I’ll have done alright.
“He must be unbelievably fit, and that helps with everything in our sport – injuries, doing more in a game and playing 80 minutes.
“Nothing seems to faze him.”
Leeming himself put up Roby-esque stats in the Wigan win, making 41 tackles with no misses, carrying the ball 19 times for 109 metres and scoring a try.
He has admirers in the St Helens camp including coach Justin Holbrook, who this week compared him to Warrington’s Daryl Clark.
But Leeming is more focused on backing up the Wigan performance and erasing memories of Huddersfield’s stuttering start.
He added: “We’d trained all pre-season on stuff we thought would win us games, and when you lose your first four you start second guessing whether all of that was right.
“You question yourselves but we decided to stick with it and got a massive win at Wigan.
“It gives you confidence that what you were doing for two or three months was right.
“We hadn’t been that far off, we just hadn’t put 80 minutes together and had been making mistakes when we shouldn’t have.
“Before the Wigan game we really narrowed our focus on what we needed to do as a collective to win that game.
“At half-time the lads came in and said they felt part of something.
“Win or lose from there we were giving it our all for the team, and that was the first time we’d really had that feeling this season.
“If we can beat Saints having won at Wigan, then that first four weeks goes out of the window.”