Down to the top 20 players in Super League, we’re set to see the best of the best as we count down positions 20 to 11 looking at some powerful props, sublime fullbacks and the very best sixes and sevens.
20. Jake Connor
With 20 try assists last year and a handful of tries to go with them, Jake Connor was one of the best attackers in the league in 2021. So, his broken hand could very well stifle Hull FC’s start to the season he’s so key to what they do offensively. However, when fit and alongside Luke Gale, the two could form a formidable partnership.
19. Sam Kasiano
The league’s best impact substitute? Perhaps. There’s no player better than Sam Kasiano at devastating tired defences. His size and explosivity makes him nearly unstoppable when he comes onto the field and his offload game makes him all the more effective.
18. Bevan French
A livewire fullback, there are few players better to watch than the Wigan fullback. With speed to burn and an eye for a try, he’s easily one of the league’s finest attackers as we saw in 2020 and in 2021 before injury derailed his season and blunted Wigan’s offence. When he returns this season he could set the world on fire.
17. Cade Cust
Especially if he can link well with new Wigan signing Cade Cust. One of the favourites for the Man of Steel following his arrival, by the end of the season he and French could be right at the top of this list. A real all-rounder in the halves, he could be the spark Wigan need.
16. Gareth Widdop
An NRL winner with Melbourne and a World Cup finalist in 2017, we sometimes forget the impressive CV Gareth Widdop has and the 2021 Man of Steel nominee showed the quality he still possesses last season especially when he clicked in attack. Alongside a top notch halfback partner in 2022, we could see Widdop at his very best and perhaps that could lead Warrington to glory.
15. George Williams
Speaking of his halfback partner, it’s easy to forget just how essential George Williams was to Wigan’s success in 2016 and 2018 with the ideal blend of a great running game alongside game smarts. When he was trusted as Blake Green’s replacement at Wigan, many were surprised but he quickly became a top notch halfback and still is even impressing in the NRL before choosing to make the switch back to England. Settled at Warrington, we could see Williams at his absolute best in 2022.
14. Jack Welsby
Jack Welsby just gets better and better. Most young players may have shrunk under the pressure that scoring the winning try in a Grand Final brings, but in 2021 Welsby harnessed the momentum he generated at the end of 2020 and was arguably St Helens’ best player grabbing more than one hat-trick and ending the year with 13 tries and 13 assists and St Helens’ top try scorer. In 2022, he’s moving to the fullback role and there’s a suspicion that he could be the next Sam Tomkins.
13. John Bateman
Last year John Bateman was much higher on this list and it feels like he’s just one good season away from being in the top five again. On his day one of the best forwards on the planet, 2021 wasn’t his best year but he did still captain his country. His Canberra days showed he’s World Class as he was included in the Dally M Team of the Year and if he can recapture that form he’ll again be one of the best forwards in the league.
12. Liam Farrell
But based on last season, Liam Farrell is slightly ahead of him. The Wigan second-row has experienced a renaissance in recent years. The 2016 Harry Sunderland Award winner has been named in the last three Dream Teams cementing himself as the league’s best backrower at this moment in time. A brutal defender, a real worker and with some explosivity in attack, he’s the ideal second-row.
11. Lachlan Coote
Lachlan Coote has been essential to St Helens’ recent success and 2022 could show just how important he was if their stranglehold on the Super League title is ended this year. A great organiser, creative spark and tackler, Coote has perhaps been underrated during his time in Super League. Look back at the inch perfect kick he produced at the end of last year’s Grand Final and it demonstrates just how smart and clinical he is. He could take Hull KR to the next level in 2022.