Cowboys-bound fullback Ben Barba has added selection in the Super League Dream Team to a stunning season ahead of his return to Australia, refusing to rule out a possible return to the northern hemisphere after his one-year Cowboys deal.
Raiders-bound England Test back-rower John Bateman also earned Dream Team selection – the UK's equivalent of the NRL's Dally M team of the year – after a strong season with Wigan Warriors.
"It's a risk for myself going back there (to the NRL)," Barba said at the team announcement, according to the Super League website.
"In a year I could find myself on the scrap heap. It's given me a drive to really prove to myself and hopefully perform like I've done over here.
"I guess the ball is then in my court at the end of next year and I can go wherever I want.
"I'm getting towards the end of my career now so I've got to make the best decisions for my family.
"As for coming back here, we've spoken about that and I guess when the time comes, I'll have to make the decision with my family again."
Barba heads the league with 28 tries while his 24 try assists are third best and his 141 tackle busts are second best.
Barba said the passing of his grandmother earlier in the year was a turning point in terms of him becoming homesick and praised the club for giving him an option to leave early, even though he ended up not taking them up on it.
"I lost my grandmother earlier in the year and Saints gave me the opportunity to go back but I chose not to," Barba said.
"That was the turning point for me, I started struggling with homesickness, missing my family and knowing what everyone was going through.
"As the days went on, it got a bit harder. Then I sat down with Rushy (chief executive Mike Rush) and (coach) Justin (Holbrook) and went over it. I am so thankful for what they allowed me to do by leaving early."
Barba was one of seven players from a dominant St Helens team to make the Dream Team.
One time Rooster Remy Casty, ex-Raiders and Warriors winger Bill Tupou and England Test duo Sean O'Loughlin and James Roby were other notable names in the squad, which is selected by broadcasters and journalists.
Full Super League Dream Team
Ben Barba (St Helens) Dream Team appearances: 1 (2018)
Tommy Makinson (St Helens) Dream Team appearances: 2 (2014, 2018)
Mark Percival (St Helens) Dream Team appearances: 2 (2017, 2018)
Bill Tupou (Wakefield Trinity) Dream Team appearances: 1 (2018)
Tom Johnstone (Wakefield Trinity) Dream Team appearances: 1 (2018)
Jonny Lomax (St Helens) Dream Team appearances: 1 (2018)
Danny Richardson (St Helens) Dream Team appearances: 1 (2018)
Luke Thompson (St Helens) Dream Team appearances: 1 (2018)
James Roby (St Helens) Dream Team appearances: 6 (2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2018)
Remi Casty (Catalans Dragons) Dream Team appearances: 2 (2012, 2018)
John Bateman (Wigan Warriors) Dream Team appearances: 1 (2018)
Matty Ashurst (Wakefield Trinity) Dream Team appearances: 1 (2018)
Sean O'Loughlin (Wigan Warriors) Dream Team appearances: 7 (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018)