Top six hookers in the NRL right now

We continue our power rankings by looking at six of the best NRL hookers right now.

6: Jayden Brailey

It has been another stellar year for Brailey as he was one of the Sharks’ most consistent performers in 2019.

After signing with Newcastle in time for the 2020 season, the Knights now have a solid player in a position they have not found the easiest to fill in recent years. The connection between the 24-year-old, Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga is definitely going to be worth keeping an eye on this season, and get on a bethard sign up offer if you think Newcastle can be an underdog for the NRL Premiership this season.

5: Reed Mahoney

In a breakout year, the Eels youngster showed exactly what he can bring to the table for years to come in the Parramatta set up.

The 22-year-old showed great attacking instincts to combine well with the likes of Mitch Moses throughout the year, but his work ethic in defence was something else as he led the league in tackles in 2019 with 1,221 to his name. After reaching fifth on the ladder last year, the sky is limit for Brad Arthur’s side going into 2020 and if Mahoney can follow on from those performances then the blue and gold certainly have a star on their hands.

4: Cameron McInnes

It was a very disappointing year for the Dragons in 2019 as they succumbed to 15th place on the ladder but McInnes proved to be a shining light for his side since his move from South Sydney in 2017.

The 26-year-old is a machine in both attack and defence and easily continues to be the best player on the pitch for St George Illawarra. In a perfect fit, McInnes will take up the captaincy role during 2020 and the fans probably could not have asked for anyone better in the side right now.

3: Damien Cook

There probably isn’t a more electric dummy half to watch in the NRL right now than Cook.

Despite Souths underperforming during the finals series, the 28-year-old was still one of the best players on the field for the Rabbitohs with his explosive runs out of dummy half and defensive work rate proving to be integral to South Sydney’s 2019 season. The Australia international’s displays in Origin also helped the Blues secure back-to-back series wins.

2: Cameron Smith

This may come as a surprise by putting Smith at number two but after being the number one dummy half in the game for so long.

The 36-year-old has continued to get better with age and even though he has not been one of the flashiest players to watch – his knowledge of the game has helped him standout from the rest for so many years. Going into 2020, there will be plenty of questions surrounding his current playing future but he continues to be one of the best players in the competition.

1: Josh Hodgson

The 30-year-old is undoubtedly the best one-on-one ball stripper in the game today and his abilities completely changed the nature of games for Canberra in 2019.

The Great Britain and England international’s composure and rugby league brain have made him one of the most dynamic hookers in the sport. When you talk about the glue that holds a team together, Hodgson is exactly that for the Green Machine.

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1 Comment

  1. All good, if not great, players….but hookers? Absolutely not!
    When I started watching rugby league in the 50s (ok I know you can’t believe it) scrums were serious and competitive. Props were specialists and hookers had to be extremely skilled or teams would never get the ball from a scrum whether they had the feed or not. Just think about the penalties for feeding, foot up, loose arm, not binding, not square. What do we have now? Nothing!
    So yes, laud these guys as great players, they may wear a number nine, but as sure as eggs is eggs, they ain’t hookers.

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