Having named the top 5 full-backs, wingers and centres, we move on to the best stand-offs.
5. Tui Lolohea
After a very poor start to life in Super League with the Leeds Rhinos, Lolohea joined Salford and has since reached two finals with them. He was a direct replacement for Robert Lui and slotted in alongside Jackson Hastings very quickly. The Tongan superstar has continued his fantastic form in Hastings’ absence, scoring nine tries. His footwork and power make him an excellent partner for the accomplished Kevin Brown, and together they will be hoping to maintain the form they found midway through last season.
4. James Maloney
Maloney is one of the most experienced players in Super League, as a former Australian international and NRL Grand Final winner. He has been a steadying presence for Catalans and was a major part of their relative success in getting into the play-off semi-finals. With consistent goalkicking, and a wonderful ability to dictate the tempo and momentum of a game, Maloney will be a vital asset to the Dragons in their push for silverware.
3. Blake Austin
In 2019, Blake Austin was a serious candidate for Man of Steel before an injury derailed his season. He returned to the Warrington side at the back end of the season in underwhelming fashion, but had a strong 2020 and showed his skill had not faded. Austin has showed the value of having a halfback who can take on the line, as he went over for 18 tries in his first season in Super League. If Austin can return to his 2019 form, then Warrington will have a genuine chance of 2021 being their year.
2. Jackson Hastings
Hastings has shown a high level of competence in both halfback positions – a testament to his ability. He is the definition of the full package; possessing power, vision, a strong kicking game, footwork and an aggressive tackle technique. There was rarely a Wigan game played last season in which Hastings would go unnoticed, whilst his relentless desire to elevate his side’s performance is another integral side to his game. Despite his obvious dedication, he continues to face criticism from both Wigan fans and neutrals and constant speculation over his future. However, with nine tries and 17 assists last season, there can be no complaints over his performances on the pitch.
1. Jonny Lomax
Jonny Lomax has been one of Super League’s finest talents for the best part of a decade. Having previously played at full-back, he has arguably found his best position since relocating to the halves. He has been a part of the St Helens side that has dominated much of Super League for the last three years, and his consistent work rate has been an essential part of their success. With another strong season, Lomax will surely be given a starting spot in England’s World Cup side.