We have taken a look at six of the best full-backs in the NRL right now.
6: Latrell Mitchell
A new year, a new team and a new position for the 22-year-old superstar.
Even though he made a huge name for himself in the centre position whilst at the Roosters, Mitchell now comes in to 2020 as a Rabbitoh and taking up the number one jersey which is why he is ranked below some of the more established full-backs on this list. It was a phenomenal 2019 for the New South Wales representative as he finished as the league’s top points scorer as well as second in tries with 19. It might take some adjusting for Mitchell but if we see any the same player that we’ve seen over the last couple of seasons then we are in for a treat.
5: Kalyn Ponga
It was an inconsistent 2019 for Ponga, with a failed stand-off experiment coupled with a disappointing year for the Knights that saw them miss out on the NRL finals.
However, we know exactly what he is capable of and he is easily one of most elite full-backs in the game. The 22-year-old is undoubtedly Newcastle’s biggest offensive weapon with his lightning pace, ever-improving kicking game and evasiveness second to none. Once the 2020 season starts up again, it will also be interesting to see how the connection between himself and Mitchell Pearce progresses throughout the year.
4: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
After failing to get a regular first-team spot whilst at the Warriors, Nicoll-Klokstad’s move to Canberra in time for the 2019 season proved to be a masterstroke for both the club and the player.
In a breakout year, the 24-year-old racked up the most metres by a Raiders player thanks to his electric running out from the full-back position. In the Raiders’ run to the Grand Final he was consistently one of the best players on the field and proved to be a huge asset to Ricky Stuart’s side.
3: Tom Trbojevic
Even though the start of his 2019 was hampered by an injury, Tommy Turbo was just unstoppable when he was on the pitch.
The 23-year-old is one of the league’s most valuable players with his try scoring prowess, ability under the high ball, defensive capabilities, hard running and versatility to play in different positions along the back-line – making him one of the standout performers in the NRL. It is interesting to think how Manly’s season would have gone if Trbojevic had not torn his pectoral towards the end of the year. If he can stay healthy then the Sea Eagles have every chance to make a decent run once the season gets up and running again.
2: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Despite claiming the 2019 Golden Boot award, RTS ranks second on this list and that is due mainly to his team’s poor performances.
Even though the Warriors failed to reach the finals last year, Tuivasa-Sheck showed exactly why he is one of the best players in the world by consistently being the Warriors’ offensive powerhouse. The 26-year-old can do things on the field that very few players can and despite his side’s poor efforts he was still at his electric and show stopping best.
1: James Tedesco
Even though he missed out on the Golden Boot award, 2019 was still a phenomenal year for the polarising Sydney Roosters full-back. On top of claiming the Wally Lewis Medal for his New South Wales heroics in Origin, he went on to star over the course of the season as the Roosters claimed back-to-back NRL titles. The 27-year-old’s ability to constantly break tackles and rack up the metres makes him a difficult entity to stop. Overall, Tedesco looks a force in every game he plays and has no doubt solidified himself as one of the best players in the world – if not the very best.
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