After completing a top 5 of every position in the backs, we move onto the forwards.
5. Lee Mossop
Salford’s captain has been one of the most consistent forwards in the league in recent seasons. After almost calling time on his career before joining the Red Devils, the Cumbrian has played some of his best rugby league at the AJ Bell Stadium. He has provided a good platform for Salford’s backs, and on his day can compete with any front-rower in the competition. His leadership and reliable presence in the middle has helped his side to two major finals, and Mossop will be hoping to replicate that success in the near future.
4. Scott Taylor
Having been plagued by injury in 2020, Scott Taylor is raring to go in the upcoming campaign after coming through pre-season with a clean bill of health. Taylor is now 30, but that’s prime age for a prop’s development. And, with the World Cup at the end of the year, the Hull forward will be wanting to force himself into Shaun Wane’s reckoning. On previous years’ form, there’s no reason why not.
3. Liam Watts
Watts has been one of the most exciting props to watch since his move to Castleford. More than just a battering ram, his ability to get the ball away in the tackle, as well as good footwork has made him a difficult player to defend against. Injury troubles slowed his momentum last season, as he made just 11 appearances for the Tigers. With what will hopefully be a full season ahead, Watts will look to get back to playing at the same level he was in 2019, which saw him nominated for Man of Steel.
2. Mike Cooper
Cooper had one of his best seasons to date last year, and made it into the Dream Team as a result. Not the flashiest of players, Cooper is a determined ball carrier and a huge part of Warrington’s defence. If his impressive form can continue into 2021, he is a strong candidate for a spot in England’s front-row at the world cup.
1. Alex Walmsley
Walmsley has been fantastic in almost every game in a Saints shirt in recent seasons, but last year was probably his most important. After the departure of Luke Thompson mid-way through the season, it was vital that Walmsley’s experience and talent showed. In Thompson’s absence, his game seemed to improve as he scored 10 tries and pushed his side to a Grand Final victory.