We’ve taken a look at six stand-offs to watch in the 2021 NRL season.
Cameron Munster – Melbourne Storm
There is no questioning the fact he is still one of the best out there on a rugby league pitch. The 26-year-old remains one of the best ball-running halves while his skills in general make him one of the top playmakers the sport has to offer.
Shaun Johnson – Cronulla Sharks
After a disrupted first year with Cronulla, the New Zealand international looked to be on his way back to his best in 2020. The 29-year-old led Cronulla in try assists throughout the year with 23 in 20 games and even with a season-ending achilles injury towards the end of the season, he was the main reason the Sharks made it to the NRL finals.
Cody Walker – South Sydney Rabbitohs
It was a slow start for the Rabbitohs but once they found there feet they were a joy to watch last year, with Walker right at the heart of a devastating attack. The 30-year-old produced some outstanding displays in the latter part of last season as he inspired them to the preliminary finals. Overall, Walker finished with 10 tries and 24 try assists and earned himself a call up to the New South Wales Origin squad. Now, with Latrell Mitchell back fit and healthy for 2021, the South Sydney attack is one to keep an eye on throughout the year.
Jarome Luai – Penrith Panthers
Before the start of the season there were questions as to who would take on Penrith’s number six jersey following the departure of James Maloney to Super League, with Matt Burton and Luai both tipped to take on the position. However, it was the latter that not only cemented the spot for himself but also went on to excel and have an exceptionally influential year for the Minor Premiership winners, with 23 try assists and 20 line break assists.
Luke Keary – Sydney Roosters
Even without Cooper Cronk alongside him it was another great year for Keary. The 28-year-old has been the lynchpin on several occasions for the Roosters over the last couple of seasons and even though they were not at their best last year, there is no doubting that when players like Keary are in full flow, the Roosters are a world class outfit to watch.
Jack Wighton – Canberra Raiders
The 2020 Dally M Medal winner is undoubtedly the heart and soul of the Canberra set up right now as he continues to put forth plenty of inspiring displays. Although he may not produce as many try assists as those listed above, his ball carrying, in-game kicking and tenacity defensively set him apart from most.
Watch NRL and live stream every NRL game to keep up with how Tom Burgess, Josh Hodgson, Ryan Sutton, Elliott Whitehead, Luke Thompson and George Williams and all the others are getting on Down Under.