Cudjoe was just one of a number of Huddersfield players who stepped up their consistency levels in 2013, as the Giants won the League Leaders Shield. His defensive improvements were especially important in what was quite an inexperienced back-line, and also meant that he has now secured a starting spot in the England side for the forseeable future.
The rise of ‘Hurricane’ Hurrell has been quite remarkable. He has established himself as one of the premier centres in the NRL, with his direct running and sheer strength embarrassing defenders throughout the season. With reported interest from New Zealand, he then chose to represent his country of birth – Tonga – at the the World Cup, and he scored his first international try against the Cook Islands.
Inglis could easily have beeen included in the full-back list, but saying that he could probably do a job at prop with the sheer athleticism and power he possesses. At centre is where he played for Queensland and Australia and yet again he was in imperious form for both, adding a World Cup win to yet another State of Origin victory.
Although Jennings did not get much game time for Australia at the World Cup, on his day he is one of the most ruthless centres in the world. Throughout 2013 he enjoyed many of these days for his club Sydney Roosters, in particular their Grand Final win over Manly in which he scored one of the tries of the season by somehow getting on the end of a James Maloney kick.
‘Killer’ embodies the spirit within the Manly side which saw them make yet another charge for NRL glory come the business end of the season. As part of the Sea Eagles lethal right edge, Lyon proved he is still one of the best around, even at the age of 31. Australian selectors were apparently interested in calling him up for the World Cup, but as a family man he has long since turned his back on representative football.
After joining Penrith in 2012 for the chance to be a first-team regular, Whare has gone on to become an NRL star, and in 2013 a starter for his country. During the World Cup his combination with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck on the New Zealand right edge was devastating and the Panthers have done well to secure the 23-year-old’s future with a new three-year contract.