Today we conclude the 50 best players presently plying their trade in the Betfred Super League with the top 10 players in the competition. So far, we’ve had dynamic centres, silky scrum-halves, exciting foreign imports and skilled homegrown talents but who are the ten best players in Super League?
10. Daryl Clark
Since winning the Man of Steel in 2014, Clarke has been consistently one of the best hookers in the league. He’s a joy to watch as well. He matches the traditional aspects of the hooking role – organisation and passing – with sublime pace. Few run as well out of dummy half as the Warrington number 9. When on top form, he’s almost unplayable.
9. James Maloney
In his pomp, James Maloney was perhaps the very best stand-off in the world. Wherever he went success followed as he won NRL titles at both Sydney and Cronulla. He was also superb in Origin single-handedly winning the 2019 series for the Blues. He impressed at Catalans last year and helped forge them into real contenders. His quality will no doubt drive them again in 2021.
8. Tommy Makinson
For me, Makinson is one of the best wingers in the world. The 2018 Golden Boot winner was stunning in the internationals that season and hasn’t looked back since. He finished as Super League’s top scorer in 2019 and can score tries of all shapes and sizes. He mastered the acrobatic finish long ago but brings so much more to his game than just tries. A capable kicker and with a decent pair of hands, he can create them too and is more than solid in defence.
7. Alex Walmsley
From the league’s best winger, to the competition’s premier prop. When Walmsley broke his neck a few years ago I was worried his promising career might subside. But 2020 proved those fears were unfounded. Following the departure of Luke Thompson, Walmsley stepped up and often blew teams out of the water with his powerful running. He also grabbed a fair chunk of tries despite his position.
6. Bevan French
One of Super League’s top scorers last term finishing the shortened season with 12, French is one of the best players to watch in the league. He has flashy speed and superb skills. Wigan’s early season form was a delight to watch and that was largely due to him. In fact, their 1st placed finish owed much to the vibrant fullback who will certainly continue to impress in 2021.
5. Lachlan Coote
It frustrates me how underrated Coote is. He’s very much the complete fullback with a great running game, fantastic support play, a skilful pair of hands and a decent kick. He more than replaced the talismanic Ben Barba after 2018 and has only brought success to the Totally Wicked Stadium. During his Super League tenure he has never not won the Grand Final claiming the crown in 2019 and 2020.
4. John Bateman
John Bateman more than took the NRL by storm. In his first season he quickly cemented himself as the world’s best second-rower even being named in the Dally M Team of the Year. He helped Canberra to the NRL Grand Final and was beloved by all down under. That built on his classic tenure at Wigan where he has now returned. Having taken on retired O’Loughlin’s 13 shirt there’s a lot of pressure but I back him to continue his legacy. It’s a big win for Super League that the biggest British star has returned home.
3. Jonny Lomax
After an injury hit start to his career, Lomax has become the player we all expected him to be over the last few years. After, a successful stint at Fullback, he made the leap back to stand-off and has produced scintillating form at six since. He helped Saints to top spot in back-to-back seasons in 2018 and 2019 and was also key to their back-to-back Grand Final triumphs. He is the all-round half capable of creativity as well as organisation, he’s always a joy to watch.
2. Aiden Sezer
After taking Canberra to the NRL Grand Final in 2019, Sezer joined Huddersfield and last year showed his class. He masterminded plenty of famous wins for the Giants as they challenged the very top teams in the league. He even led Huddersfield to victory away at a packed Totally Wicked Stadium before Covid struck. His organisation is key and he’s built Huddersfield into a superb unit one many believe are the dark horses for the Super League crown in 2021.
1. Jackson Hastings
Sezer took Canberra to the NRL Grand Final in 2019, well Hastings took Salford to the Super League decider that season against all of the odds. The Australian scrum-half won the Man of Steel for his efforts in 2019 before joining Wigan. He gave them the balance needed to claim their first League Leaders’ Shield since 2012. More than that, he helped the Warriors back to the Grand Final. I thought he was the liveliest player in the title-decider and didn’t deserve to be on the losing side. If Wigan are to go one better in 2021, he’ll be the key.