As we get closer and closer to Super League’s number one player at the moment, I hope the quality within the competition has become clear. We have stars all across the pitch and at every club.
Today we’re continuing the countdown of the top 50 players in Super League looking at players 20-11.
20. Toby King
Super League’s top offloader last season had a superb campaign. The centre was arguably Warrington’s best player and forced his way into Shaun Wane’s England squad. He was also rewarded with a place in the Super League Dream Team. Despite Warrington’s recruitment of Greg Inglis, I still expect King to be one of their star players in 2021.
19. Ash Handley
Like King, Handley also forced his way into the England squad with sublime form. If you still doubt his quality, you just need to look at his stats over the last two seasons. After finishing with 22 tries in 2019 only just behind Tommy Makinson for the top try scorer award, Handley claimed the award himself last season with 14 tries in a shortened season. He also made the most metres in the competition and was vital as Leeds won the Challenge Cup.
18. Paul McShane
The 2021 Man of Steel added some new elements to his game last season that fired him to the league’s most prestigious individual honour. He’s now a 9 that has everything. Whether its passing and organisation, running and tackling or even a kicking game befitting of a top tier half, McShane has it.
17. Greg Inglis
I sincerely hope we get to see the best of Inglis next season and if we do he may well find himself top of this list soon enough. The centre/fullback was outstanding in the NRL for both Melbourne and Souths. With explosive running, he’s devastating on the break but also offers a lot of skill with the ball in hand. Warrington could have a real weapon on their hands in the shape of the Queenslander next season.
16. Mark Percival
If Mark Percival can find consistent fitness in 2021, he’ll nail down his place in the England team whilst also proving he’s one of the best centres in the world. The 26-year-old is hitting his peak but has already won two Grand Finals for St Helens in 2014 and 2019. Sadly, he missed out last season but that will only drive him on to be even better in 2021.
15. Kevin Naiqama
Is it starting to become clear why St Helens are back-to-back Champions? Not only do they boast Percival on the left but on the right they have the complete centre in Naiqama. He has brilliant athleticism as well as sublime skill. He played a key yet understated role in St Helens’ Grand Final win in 2020 after guiding them to the title in 2019. 2019 was a special year for the centre as he was also named in the Dream Team.
14. Luke Gale
Many questioned Leeds’ decision to sign the 2017 Man of Steel last year, however the scrum-half produced some of his finest form at the Rhinos in 2020. His leadership and organisation was key to their success. He helped forge a ruthless attack at the start of the season whilst his kicking game was constantly vital in big games. And who could forget his success with drop goals last season – the Rhinos skippered nailed one at Wembley to win the Challenge Cup.
13. Sam Tomkins
For over a decade now Sam Tomkins has been one of the most skilful players on the planet and his form last season shows its unlikely the former Wigan man is going to slow down. Well passed his best years when he was scoring tries for fun and claiming major honours at the DW, he still remains a class act and one of Catalans’ most important players. His play-off performance against Leeds last season was unplayable and if he can produce showings like that again, Catalans could have a shot at the Super League crown.
12. Zak Hardaker
Like Tomkins, Hardaker is one of the finest fullbacks Super League has seen over the last decade. However, he now plies his trade at centre – where he won his first Grand Final – and has been a success there at Wigan. He has superb athleticism as well as skill and often poaches a try.
11. James Roby
At times, Roby has been the best player in Super League. He’s a legend of the competition and should be considered Super League’s player of the decade from 2010-19. Despite being towards the end of his career, the Saints skipper still excels. Last season he joined the illustrious company of Burrow, Sinfield and McGuire as a two-time Harry Sunderland Award winner in Super League and was vital to St Helens’ Grand Final triumph.