St Helens pipped to team of the year at BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards

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St Helens men’s and women’s teams were both nominated for the Team of the Year award at the 2021 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.

They missed out to the England national football team, who scooped the prize following their run to the final of the Euro 2020 championships in the summer.

Rugby league had a typically brief segment on the annual show celebrating sport.

RFL president Claire Balding introduced Johnny Vegas to voiceover a summary of St Helens’ extraordinary club success in 2021.

That included a first Challenge Cup since 2008 for the men, and they made it a Grand Final double by beating Catalans.

The women went one better by going unbeaten all season and winning the treble, meaning Saints swept up five of the six top level trophies on offer.

On their official club website, Saints said: “The Club wants to congratulate Gareth Southgate and his players on the achievement.

“Nonetheless, despite not winning the award, our biggest fan Johnny Vegas did us proud with a quite brilliant summary of our year in the build-up to the award.”

England manager Gareth Southgate accepted the Team of the Year award.

He said: “I’m conscious by the way other teams won trophies so we’ve got to acknowledge that.”

The 2021 World Cup, now being held in 2022, was also referenced on the programme.

The BBC will broadcast every game across the three tournaments.

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Kevin Sinfield was also praised by host Gary Lineker for his fundraising efforts.

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He finished runner-up for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in 2015; the first time anybody from rugby league had been shortlisted for the award.

The main award for 2021 was won by tennis star Emma Radacanu.

She won ahead of Olympic champions Tom Daley, Adam Peaty and Sarah Storey; as well as boxer Tyson Fury and footballer Raheem Sterling.

Southgate also won Coach of the Year, while Grand National winning jockey Rachael Blackmore won World Sport Star of the Year.

Gymnast Simone Biles scooped the Lifetime Achievement Award and Arsenal footballer Jen Beattie won the Helen Rollason Award for her work raising awareness of breast cancer since her own diagnosis in 2020.

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