We look at six of the best stand-offs in the NRL right now.
6: Dylan Brown
There was a lot of hype surrounding the 19-year-old after entering the league last year – but he would miss a large chunk of action due to back issues throughout the season.
However, in the games he did play he showed exactly why he is a potential superstar in the making. By the end of 2019, he was in stunning form and one can only imagine what kind of year Brown will have in 2020 if he stays fit and healthy.
5: Dylan Walker
The decision to move Walker into the five-eighth position alongside Daly Cherry-Evans proved to be a masterstroke from Manly coach Des Hasler.
In a torrid start to 2019, he missed the opening 10 rounds of the season due to domestic violence charges filed against him – but he would later go on to be cleared and take to the field once again. The 25-year-old was moved from the centres and given the number six shirt in a move that proved fruitful as the Sea Eagles secured a finals berth. If Walker can continue that form into 2020 without any issues, then it will be interesting to see where Hasler’s men end up by the end of the year.
4: Benji Marshall
Even at the age of 35, Marshall continues to be the Tigers lynchpin and he rolled back the years with a vintage season in 2019.
The New Zealand international may have lost a yard of pace but one thing he has not lost is the skill and creativity that has seen him become one of the best stand-offs of the modern era. Marshall made an impressive start to the 2020 season and even returned to goal kicking duties for the first time since 2013. The partnership between himself and Luke Brooks continues to shine.
3: Jack Wighton
It was an outstanding year for Wighton in 2019, with his move to five-eighth proving dividends as he showed great class in the Raiders’ run to the Grand Final.
Although Canberra saw defeat in the Grand Final, the 27-year-old secured the Clive Churchill Medal as he was the best player on the pitch during that year’s premier event. The New South Wales representative’s kicking ability and attacking instincts have made him a key catalyst in Ricky Stuart’s side and his chemistry with new Super League recruit George Williams could prove decisive going forward.
2: Cameron Munster
It is amazing to think that the Melbourne star is still only 25-years-old!
It was another stellar year for Munster in 2019 and again showed why he is one of the best players in the league and the game today. There are not many five-eighths who are better ball runners than the Queensland man and even without the likes of Cooper Cronk or Billy Slater he has shown no issues in taking up the mantle as the Storm’s chief playmaker.
1: Luke Keary
The three-time NRL champion was unlucky not to be wearing the blue of New South Wales last year as a concussion shortened his game time throughout the year.
However, there is no doubting the fact that he makes an impact when on the field for the Roosters. The 28-year-old has cemented himself as the sport’s best number six as his vision combined with the way he is able to connect with his team-mates throughout a game is second to none.
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