Top six props of the NRL era

We take a look at six of the best prop forwards to play in the NRL since its inception in 1998.

Ruben Wiki

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, if there was a player that could strike the fear of god into an opposition then it was Wiki.

The New Zealand international formed a reputation as one of the most hard hitting and explosive ball carriers around during his 18-year career. Between 2005-08, he formed one half of a formidable front-row partnership at the Warriors alongside Australia’s best prop at the time in Steve Price. The presence of the two was more than enough for teams to re-think their game plan. In 2006, he set the record for most first-grade NRL games by a New Zealander after passing Stephen Kearney’s mark of 264 games. By the end of his career in 2008, he finished with 311 appearances and 72 tries.

Matt Scott

A former Maroons representative and Australia international who spent his entire 16-year NRL career with North Queensland.

During the late 2000s and early 2010s, Scott cemented himself as one of the best prop forwards of his generation. The former Cowboys captain always made life difficult for his opponents, with his stocky frame making him powerful ball carrier and a difficult entity to stop. In 2015, his career came full circle after leading North Queensland to their first ever major Premiership win since their inception in 1992.

Jesse Bromwich

Since his debut in 2010, the older Bromwich brother has been consistently one of the most dependable front-rowers in the game.

The 30-year-old has spent his entire 10-year career with Melbourne and since then has been an imposing force in the Storm’s pack with his tough defence and high motor when he has the ball in his hand. The New Zealand international was also a key cog in two of the Victoria club’s NRL title wins in 2012 and 2017.

Petero Civoniceva

It can certainly be argued that the Australia and Fiji international is one of the most relentless and fearsome front-rowers of the NRL era, with his ability to regularly break down an opposition’s defensive line.

During the late 1990s and 2000s, the former Brisbane powerhouse formed one of the most devastating front-row duos the league had ever seen alongside Shane Webcke. Over the course of his career, he helped the Broncos bring in three NRL titles and was a mainstay in the Queensland and Australia set up during the early 2000s.

Steve Price

The ultimate team player and leader who throughout his time in the league was an imposing force to deal with whenever he stepped out on to the field.

The Australia international was a true workhorse and is most known for his time at Canterbury between 1994-04, although he would go onto to star alongside Ruben Wiki in the mid-2000s, forming a deadly duo that could have rivalled that of Civoniceva and Webcke. During his time with the Warriors, he probably had one of his most dominant seasons to date after averaging 195 metres per game en route to collecting Dally M Prop of The Year honours in the same year. Upon his retirement in 2009, he had two Premiership wins under his belt and had made more than 300 first-grade appearances in the league.

Shane Webcke

When it comes to prop forwards, they do not come as effective and as reassuring as the Brisbane legend.

Over the course of his career, Webcke was a key figure in four Premiership wins (one Super League and three NRL) for the Broncos and like his partner in crime Civoniceva, the former Maroons and Kangaroos stalwart was just as unrelenting when hounding his opponent’s line and was as tough and as gritty as they come. From 2000 to 2002, he won the Dally M Prop of the Year and was inducted into the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame in 2008.

Honourable mentions

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Nathan Cayless, James Graham, Andrew Fifita, Jason Ryles, James Tamou, Jason King and Brent Kite.

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About Zach Holland 295 Articles
Love Rugby League writer.

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