We look at six of the best loose forwards in the NRL at present.
6: Jai Arrow
Despite missing a chunk of time towards the end of the 2019, Arrow still showed why is the leader in the Titans’ forward pack.
The 24-year-old was in red hot form at the start of the year with his great motor, speed off the line and defensive prowess making a certain pick for Queensland but due to injury the Gold Coast lock would miss games two and three of the series. With the 2020 season set to resume at the end of May, Arrow will be vital to the Titans throughout the year and if he can stay healthy, he will no doubt be looking at Maroons selection once again.
5: Victor Radley
The 22-year-old proved to be the ultimate utility player for the Roosters throughout 2019, filling in wherever he was needed as Sydney dealt with injuries through the year.
The versatile forward spent time at both loose forward and hooker and proved to be an excellent ball carrier and handler along with showing a great deal of work ethic and endurance. Since making his debut in 2017, the youngster just seems to be getting better and again, he could be an important piece in Sydney’s attempt to make it three NRL titles in a row.
4: James Fisher-Harris
The 2019 Panthers Player of The Year endured a breakout year last season as he became an intimidating presence in Penrith’s forward pack.
In terms of tackles made by loose forwards, he was second behind only Jake Trbojevic in that respect while also proving to be a strong ball carrier after averaging 132 metres per game. At 24 years of age, the powerful Kiwi has shown great leadership traits and he will no doubt be the driving force for the Panthers in 2020 as they look to have a much improved year.
3: Cameron Murray
At 21, Murray showed a maturity beyond his tender age after turning heads with a long string of impressive showings for the Rabbitohs.
The 2019 Dally M Lock of The Year’s high energy in the middle of the park alongside his excellent ball carrying and distribution made him seem almost unstoppable throughout the year. Those displays also earned him his first call-up to the New South Wales side where again he proved to be vital to the Blues’ series success. He’s a player to watch out for over the next few years.
2: Jake Trbojevic
There is not much the New South Wales man cannot do when he steps out onto a rugby league field and if it was not for a particular loose forward at North Queensland then he would certainly be the number one ranked 13 in the league.
The 26-year-old has so many tools on his belt as he gets through a great deal of work throughout 80 minutes as well as being a slick ball player. The older Trbojevic brother made more tackles than any other lock in the NRL last year and will no doubt be a certain selection for New South Wales this year if he stays fit.
1: Jason Taumalolo
What more can you say that has not already been said about the Tongan wrecking ball?
The North Queensland man remains the most dangerous lock in the competition with his aggressive, electric ball carrying and uncharacteristic footwork for a forward making him unlike many other players in the game. The 26-year-old averaged a staggering 196.6 metres per game in 2019, cementing his status as the sport’s ultimate ball runner. If the Cowboys want to improve in 2020 then this man is vital.
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