It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. We’ve been counting down the top 50 players in Super League and we’ve now reached the top 10, the best of the best going into the new season. But who ranks number one?
10. James Roby
If we were doing a top 50 Super League players of all time, James Roby would be in the top 10 and is considered by some the greatest of all time. Understandably passed his best now, Roby is still a superb player and an even better leader. The heart of St Helens’ recent success, going into his last season he’ll want to finish on a high.
9. Daryl Clarke
Very much the modern hooker, Daryl Clarke is an outstanding organiser but also a livewire out of dummyhalf and can be unstoppable at times much like Roby in his pomp. He stirred up NRL interest last season and is still at the top of his game. Reunited with the coach who guided him to the Man of Steel, we could see his best ever season in 2022.
8. Jordan Abdull
2021 was a massive year for Jordan Abdull. Hull KR’s scrum-half was nominated for the Man of Steel and was given his first England cap after guiding the Robins to the semi-finals. He has everything you’d want from a halfback be it a running game, creativity, game management or even an astute kicking game.
7. Josh Drinkwater
Josh Drinkwater was perhaps the most underrated player of 2021. The Catalans’ scrum-half finished last season with a remarkable 24 assists which was more than anyone else in the league. His short kicking game devastated defences and he was certainly essential to the Dragons’ success.
6. Tommy Makinson
The 2018 Golden Boot winner can still lay claim to being one of the world’s best wingers. Capable of remarkable acrobatic finishes and long range efforts, he also excels at the basics and starting sets with strong powerful runs which get the Champions on the front foot.
5. Morgan Knowles
Eras of Super League are often earmarked by a superb loose-forward. We had Andy Farrell, Paul Sculthorpe, Kevin Sinfield, Sean O’Loughlin and now Morgan Knowles. Included in the last three Dream Teams, Knowles has everything you’d want from a modern 13 matching the physicality brought to the role in recent years with the nuance of the traditional 13.
4. Mitchell Pearce
Mitchell Pearce was at the top of his game still in the NRL, but was tempted to join Catalans this season to replace former teammate James Maloney. An NRL Champion and a State of Origin winner, Pearce has done it all already and has now set his sights on conquering Super League.
3. Alex Walmsley
Prop is one of the most important positions on the rugby field and St Helens have had the best prop in the league for the better part of a decade. He devastated teams last year and on the back of that devastation St Helens returned to the Grand Final and reclaimed the trophy. As long as he’s doing that, St Helens will always be in the Grand Final picture.
2. Jonny Lomax
Since 2018, Jonny Lomax has consistently been one of Super League’s best players. An organiser and a creator, he’s been the lynchpin of St Helens’ success. There’s a reason a young player like Lewis Dodd can come into the Saints’ team and instantly look settled and its Jonny Lomax who even switched which side of the field he played on to facilitate Dodd’s arrival. With everything you’d want from a halfback, he’s one of Super League’s most underrated yet best players.
1. Sam Tomkins
The reigning Man of Steel had to be top. Somehow Tomkins bettered his 2012 campaign last season with performances that took the creative flair which made him so good initially and paired it with the experience he’s garnered over the years to become the complete fullback. At the core of Catalans’ success, he will likely propel them to more silverware this year after guiding them to the League Leaders’ Shield last year.