Top 20 Super League players of the last 10 years

Over the last 10 years Super League has gone from strength to strength on the field. Every team has had stars to boast about. In fact, the last decade has been blessed with some of the very best players we’re ever likely to see in Super League. So, we’re looking at the top 20 Super League players of the last decade.

20. Marc Sneyd

It’s true most of Sneyd’s high points have come in the cup having played in three Challenge Cup Finals, winning two and claiming back-to-back Lance Todd Trophies in 2016 and 2017. That said, the former Salford man has had a stellar decade in Super League too. He helped spark Castleford’s rise whilst on loan in 2014. Then he joined Hull who he led to consecutive 3rd place finishes. Capable of almost anything, it baffles me that we’ve yet to see him play in a Grand Final.

19. Jake Connor

Connor is one of the most exciting players in Super League and has at times been the competition’s best or at least most unplayable. After a successful start to life at Huddersfield Giants, who were always sniffing around top spot during his time there, he made the leap to Hull FC helping them become a real force.

18. Luke Gale

The 2017 Man of Steel has had a transformative decade. He began 2011 at a struggling Harlequins side before joining Bradford. The Bulls were gripped by financial strife during his time at Odsal leading to their relegation in 2014 despite Gale’s performances. His move to Castleford truly unlocked his potential. He made the Dream Team in 2015 and quickly became the complete playmaker with great creativity and well-rounded game-management. He took Cas to their first Grand Final and won the League Leaders’ Shield at the Jungle before moving to boyhood club Leeds who he skippered to the cup.

17. Jermain McGilvery

McGilvery has been one of the best try scorers in Super League over the last 10 years. 2015’s leading marksmen quickly developed from the inexperienced winger we saw in 2010 to the tank on the flank we now know him to be. In truth he didn’t garner the silverware his performances deserved with only one League Leaders’ Shield to his name. However, his record for England shows his quality with the winger scoring 7 tries in the 2017 World Cup.

16. Kallum Watkins

On McGilvery’s inside during that World Cup was Kallum Watkins. The current Salford centre was one of Super League’s most promising youngsters at the start of the decade. He won his first Grand Final in 2012 having missed out the previous year through injury. Shortly after, he played a focal part as Leeds won the treble in 2015 even providing an assist in the Grand Final and being named Leeds’ player of the Year that season. In 2017 he picked up his third Grand Final win.  After that he was made Rhinos skipper before trying his hand in the NRL.

15. Chris Hill

Chris Hill has come a long way since bursting on the scene at Warrington having impressed in the Championship with Leigh. Not long after his Warrington debut he was playing in a Grand Final. The three time Super League Dream Team member has been part of four Grand Finals whilst also helping the Wolves to top spot in 2016. Hill also skippered them to Challenge Cup success in 2019.

14. Danny Houghton

For a long time there was one certainty in Super League – Danny Houghton would finish the season as the top tackler. Perhaps Super League’s greatest ever tackler was proficient with the ball in his hand as well and claimed the Man of Steel Award in 2016 as Hull finished 3rd. That season also saw him play a key role in Hull’s Challenge Cup triumph before he helped Hull to similar success the following year. Few men have had the same consistency as the Hull hooker over the last decade.

13. Ryan Hall

The bulk of Ryan Hall’s 196 Super League tries came in the last decade. That total leaves the Hull KR winger fourth in the all-time rankings and you can imagine he’ll soon become only the second player to score 200 Super League tries. Hall scored in both the 2011 and 2012 Grand Finals whilst also featuring in Leeds’ successes in 2015 and 2017. The last decade also saw him produce one of Super League’s greatest moments when his last minute try saw Leeds snatch the League Leaders’ Shield in 2015.

12. Stefan Ratchford

It’s a rotten shame that Ratchford has never won a Grand Final. The 2018 Harry Sunderland Award winner deserves to win at least one. He’s been one of the most underrated Super League stars of the last decade capable of playing just about anywhere in the backs or even at loose forward. Capable of a sublime cut out pass, a devastating side-step or even strong running Ratchford has it all. Perhaps, had he not got injured in the 2013 Grand Final, Warrington would’ve ended their wait for the trophy long ago.

11. Liam Farrell

Another of Super League’s underrated players over the last decade, Farrell most recently was named in the 2020 Super League Dream Team and helped his Wigan side back to the Grand Final. That was his 7th Grand Final appearance and he’s claimed four wins. He often plays a key role in the Grand Final too even being named Man of the Match in the 2016 title-decider.

10. Jonny Lomax

Over the course of 2018 and 2019, Lomax was considered Super League’s best player. Having played in back-to-back Grand Finals early in his career, Lomax struggled with injuries and moved to fullback. However, a return to the halves brought the best out of him as he helped St Helens to 52 league points in back-to-back campaigns. He also played his part in Saints’ back-to-back Grand Final triumphs in 2019 and 2020.

9. Alex Walmsley

Walmsley has probably been Super League’s best prop over the last 10 years. The three-time Grand Final winner is virtually unstoppable down the middle for St Helens and even has a nice eye for a try despite being a prop. The former Batley man even had the guts to come back from a broken neck to win back-to-back Grand Finals

8. Tommy Makinson

The 2018 Golden boot winner is one of the best wingers in the world and that was certainly showcased in the 2018 series against New Zealand. However, he’s shown it again and again in Super League as well playing in four Grand Finals and even scoring the deciding try in the 2014 final. 2019’s top try scorer, Makinson has always been scintillating on the right-wing for St Helens and is capable of scoring tries of all shapes and sizes.

7. Daryl Clark

I remember at the start of the decade when Clark was seen as one of the most exciting youngsters in the game. He definitely lived up to the hype. His defining season arguably came in 2014 as he claimed the Man of Steel and took Castleford to Wembley. From there he’s enjoyed success at Warrington. He’d be considered Super League’s finest number 9 over the last 10 years if not for one person.

6. Zak Hardaker

Moving from the 2014 Man of Steel to the 2015 Man of Steel, few could’ve predicted the career Zak Hardaker would go onto have when he joined Leeds from Featherstone in 2011. His first year at Leeds ended with a Grand Final try in victory over St Helens. A year later he was again winning a Grand Final as Young Player of the Year. 2015 was his peak as he helped Leeds win the treble with some brilliant performances. He’d deliver similar performances at Cas helping the Tigers finish top before joining Wigan and being a key part of their return to the Grand Final in 2020.

5. Rob Burrow

With four Grand Final wins to his name over the last 10 years, Burrow stands alongside teammates Ryan Hall, Carl Ablett and Danny McGuire as Super League’s most successful players of the last 10 seasons. When it comes to considering Super League’s greatest ever players, Burrow has to be up there and makes this list having been sensational right up until the end of his career in 2017. The scintillating number 7 started this ten-year period making the unwanted move to hooker. However, it proved a masterstroke as he produced the Grand Final’s best ever individual performance in 2011 which earnt him a second Harry Sunderland Award.

4. Sean O’Loughlin

Along with Kevin Sinfield, Sean O’Loughlin is Super League’s most successful skipper in this period having lifted 3 Super League trophies. Few have been as key to their side’s success as O’Loughlin was to Wigan. If he was in the side on Grand Final night he’d lift the Warriors an extra 10% and often took them to victory. O’Loughlin has an impressive 7 Dream Team appearances to his name the last of which came as recently as 2018 despite his age. 2020 was his final season and he again helped Wigan to the Grand Final.

3. Sam Tomkins

At the start of this period, Tomkins was probably Super League’s finest player. In 2011 he was electric and finished as the season’s top try scorer. In 2012, he was even better bordering on unplayable as he was named Man of Steel. 2013 saw him help Wigan to the double before he left to the NRL. He did return to Wigan and helped them claim two more Super League crowns before impressing at Catalans.

2. Danny McGuire

Only four players have won the Harry Sunderland Award twice in Super League history and only two of them won both in the last 10 years. McGuire is one of the two playing a defining role as Leeds secured the treble in 2015 with two tries. Two years later he was even better producing one of the finest individual performances the Grand Final has ever seen as he kicked Castleford to death and grabbed two tries. The Grand Final’s top scorer is also Super League’s top scorer and although plenty of them came before this period he scored a fair amount in the latter stages of his career even scoring 5 against Bradford in 2012. In truth, the end of McGuire’s career is a hugely underrated spell as he became a superb organiser and skipper masterminding many crucial victories both in Super League and during Leeds’ back-to-back Challenge Cup successes. In fact, 2015 and 2017 were two of McGuire’s finest ever seasons.

1. James Roby

Like McGuire, Roby has to go down as a Super League legend. But when it comes to the last 10 years he just edges it given that he’s remarkably still playing. Despite the fact St Helens have been up and down over this period, Roby has always been quality and played in St Helens’ three Grand Final wins during this time. He even captained them in the last two as he masterminded back-to-back Grand Final wins. Last year’s Grand Final also saw him claim his second Harry Sunderland Award the first coming in 2014. Mr consistent always seems to produce at least a 7/10 performance and has helped spur St Helens onto success thanks to his quality and leadership.

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