With the NRL season getting underway in March, it’s only fair to examine which players in their preferred positions stand out as ones to watch.
We start by ranking the five best fullbacks…
5. Matt Dufty
Whilst the Dragons had an abysmal 2020, one of their shining lights was livewire number one Dufty who had been in and out of the squad prior to lockdown. However, the diminutive figure came back out firing the second-half of the season, scoring 13 tries and assisting 12 as the 24-year-old staked his claim for the number one jersey permanently.
4. Kalyn Ponga
Next up is Newcastle star Kalyn Ponga. Tipped for huge things, the 22-year-old is already one of the most exciting players to watch Down Under with his wicked step and knowledge of the game staggering for such a young gun.
3. Clint Gutherson
Not your flashy, electric-heeled fullback as those above, but Gutherson is still an incredible number one. He made the NSW Blues squad and was the focal point of everything the Eels did well in 2020. Forever leading from the front, Gutherson will be looking for more of the same in 2021.
2. Ryan Papenhuyzen
With the retirement of Billy Slater, Storm had a more than adequate replacement already waiting in the wings with Papenhuyzen. A fullback that can destroy defences has always been one of Melbourne’s strong points and this Clive Churchill, premiership winner demonstrated that in abundance in 2020.
1. James Tedesco
Who else but ‘Teddy” to be the first on this list? A superstar at just 28 years old, Tedesco is one of the greatest fullbacks to have ever played in the NRL. Of course, that’s an extremely difficult thing to say with the likes of Billy Slater and Darren Lockyer in the not-so-distant-past, but the Sydney Rooster is currently in a league of his own.