For whatever reason, be it injury, disruption or just a lack of form, sometimes players go through rough patches in their careers.
And, Super League is a highly intense game that can make or break players. Here are six top-flight stars with a point to prove in 2021.
Jake Trueman – Castleford Tigers
Bursting onto the scene in 2017 with the Tigers, Jake Trueman has been riding that wave of potential ever since. With clamour for the halfback to be called up to the England and Great Britain sides, there is a chance that pressure could get to the 21-year-old, especially after a less-than impressive 2020. Injury played a large part in that disappointment, but with a full pre-season under his belt, Trueman should be raring to go in 2021.
Jack Walker – Leeds Rhinos
Debuting in 2017, livewire Jack Walker made his mark immediately, becoming a Super League Grand Final winner aged just 18. However, after a spell on the sidelines through injury, Richie Myler took over the number one role for a large part of 2020 – and excelled. That has left many Leeds fans scratching their heads as to how Walker will retain his place. A level-headed youngster, though, the fullback will still full be of confidence that he can force his way back into Richard Agar’s reckoning.
Scott Taylor – Hull FC
Scott Taylor is a very popular figure on the black-and-white side of Hull, but he endured a miserable 2020 campaign. The rampaging forward played just 11 games, including a mere four after lockdown. And, with the likes of Ligi Sao and Chris Satae breathing down his neck for a first-team spot, Taylor will be looking for a much greater deal of consistency in 2021.
Mark Percival – St Helens
A two-time Grand Final winner, Mark Percival has been at the core of this St Helens side since he was a teenager. But, having played just five games in a title-winning season in 2020, Percival will be looking for much more in 2021 – as will Saints fans and head coach Kristian Woolf.
George Burgess – Wigan Warriors
Having signed for Wigan as a marquee player ahead of the 2020 season, big things were expected of English colossus George Burgess. However, the Bradford-born enforcer made just eight appearances – with six of those coming off the substitutes’ bench. Battling a persistent hip injury, Burgess made little impact in a Wigan side that made it to the Grand Final.
Greg Minikin – Hull KR
Big things were expected of Greg Minikin when he debuted for Castleford way back in 2016, but after a stellar 2017, the three-quarter seemingly lost his way and made the move to Hull KR ahead of the 2020 season. For most of last season, Minikin played on the wing, but with the capture of Ryan Hall, it’s likely that the former York academy star will be back in the centres in 2021 – his favourite position.