We have ranked the best back-rowers in the NRL at the moment.
6: Wade Graham
Despite missing the start of 2019, Graham still made up for lost time and showed exactly why he is such a valuable player for Cronulla.
The 29-year-old is a natural born leader and possesses skills that have seen him become a highly versatile player for the Sharks and New South Wales. After securing a seven placed finish last season, the Sharks will no doubt be optimistic for the 2020 season, especially if Graham can stay healthy.
5: Ryan Matterson
It was a great 2019 for Matterson as he helped solidify the Tigers’ forward pack and was one of the club’s best players throughout the year.
The 25-year-old secured career highs in tries, metres gained and tackles last year and cemented himself as one of the league’s top back-rowers. Going into 2020, Matterson comes into a Parramatta side fresh off a sparkling 2019 season and his presence alongside the likes of Shaun Lane and Nathan Brown in the back-row certainly fortifies the position for the Eels as they look to go one better in 2020.
4: Kenny Bromwich
Bromwich went on to have a great 2019 with Melbourne.
The 28-year-old was at his explosive best and recorded the same amount of line breaks in one year than he had done in his entire career. The younger Bromwich brother also showed his slick passing after totalling 20 offloads and 11 line break assists.
3: Boyd Cordner
The 27-year-old became the first player to win back-to-back NRL titles and Origin series as captain in 2019.
The Sydney Roosters back-rower consistently showcases a great level of tenacity as a ruthless ball runner and tough defender. Overall, he has firmly established himself as one of the best leaders and performers in the league. The only reason Cordner does not take the number one spot here is because of how scarily good the next two guys have been recently.
2: David Fifita
During the second half of last year and most recently during the first two rounds of the 2020 season, there is only one word to describe the Brisbane prodigy – freak.
The 20-year-old has showcased himself to be one of the brightest young competitors in the game today after bulldozing his way into both Origin selection for Queensland and a World Cup Nines place for Australia. The sky remains the limit for Fifita right now, with his ability to break through tackles, electric yet explosive running and aggression defensively seeing him standout as a potential superstar.
1: John Bateman
As debut year seasons in the NRL go, it was certainly one to remember for Canberra’s Super League recruit.
The Great Britain and England international completely changed the Raiders’ style of play and showed he had all the tools necessary to succeed in Australia with his slick ball handling skills, rugged defensive work ethic and powerful motor as a ball carrier. The 26-year-old led the side to a Grand Final appearance along with securing the Dally M Second-Rower of The Year in his first season in the NRL.
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