This feature of the best 5 players in each position concludes with the loose-forwards.
5. Adam Milner
Miner has been a regular for Castleford for ten seasons now. The 29-year-old is one of the most hard-working players in the league, and seemingly never stops. He is tireless in defence and his passing game gives him an edge over some of the more physical loose-forwards in the league. However, he is still a strong and intimidating presence in the middle of field also.
4. Michael Lawrence
Another perhaps under-appreciated player is Huddersfield’s Michael Lawrence. Also a one-club man, Lawrence has been an ever-present throughout his 13 years at the Giants. He is the sort of player that will go under a lot of fans’ radars, but every week he puts in a huge defensive effort, as well as carrying the ball into the line as well as any prop. Last season Lawrence made more tackles than any other player with 749, and has been named Huddersfield’s captain for the upcoming season.
3. Morgan Smithies
At 20 years old, Morgan Smithies has already made a name for himself as one of the toughest players in the top-flight. He set the record for the most Super League tackles made in a single game (72) as an 18-year-old. This stat sums up the level of energy and determination that he has already shown in his 40 Wigan appearances. The arrival of John Bateman may see him moved around in the back-row, and he will have to maintain a high level of performance to keep his place.
2. Morgan Knowles
Knowles has been named in the Dream Team for the last two seasons now, and deservedly so. He has been part of a hugely successful Saints side for the last three years and his contribution has certainly been a factor in that success. Despite being just 24, he is an excellent all-round player and his ability on the ball sets him apart from the majority of young loose forwards.
1. John Bateman
Bateman’s return to Wigan is one of the most exciting deals made in recent seasons. His spell at Canberra couldn’t have gone much better, and it will be interesting to see how much his game has improved. Bateman may be better known as a second-rower, but he is no stranger to the loose-forward role, and his powerful, direct playing style could make him one of the best loose forwards in the world.