The Fullback position is a very important position in the modern Rugby League game, creating tries, stopping them and creating something out of nothing is just a few of the important things they have to deal with in every game. Many people argue that the Fullback position is the toughest and most important position on the pitch. Here are the Top 5 Fullbacks under the spotlight in the 2014 NRL Season:
Arguably the most talented, skilful Fullback ever to play Rugby League. Billy Slater is a Fullback to look out for every year that he plays. He’s won every award you can imagine, Dally M Fullback of the Year, Golden Boot Award, RLIF Player of the Year, RLIF Fullback of the Year and many more. Billy Slater has been a one-club man, with his whole career being at the Melbourne Storm. He has made 248 appearances for the club with 158 tries. He is also Queensland’s and Australia’s number one, so he knows how to deal with pressure. Whenever this man gets the ball, the opposition just don’t know what he will produce. He can kick through for his winger, take on players and he has a great side-step, enabling him to beat oppositions with ease. He can catch the high ball and rarely makes any mistakes and is, in my opinion, the best Fullback ever to be in Rugby League.
Easily one of the strongest Fullbacks currently in the NRL. His hand off is one of his specialities, enabling him to push away from defenders and set up his wingers in the corner or score a try himself. Since moving to the Fullback position from centre, he’s proven he’s more than capable of taking up the role. He scored 14 tries for the Rabbitohs in 2013 and I think he’ll easily do this again in 2014. Greg Inglis is a big figure with power, strength and he also has speed. His power and speed lets him easily make metres when taking in a run and he can also beat defenders with his strength. Inglis had an impressive 2013 RLWC, scoring 2 tries for Australia and he also had the most try assists and tackle busts for Australia, indicating the strength he has as a Fullback. I think Inglis will have an excellent 2014 NRL Season and will definitely be a Fullback to look out for.
Sam Tomkins. He was one of the best Fullbacks in the Super League and moving to the NRL is a great decision for the player. He had the most tackle busts in the Super League last season and can cause chaos for defences. He was also Super League’s 3rd Top Try Scorer and he has great speed and ability. He also has a side-step that can confuse many defences and has the ball-handling skills to quickly put his winger in the corner for a try, as he did so many times with Josh Charnley last season. Sam Tomkins scored 144 tries in 151 matches for the Wigan Warriors, which is a great ratio that any player would be proud of. Sam Tomkins will certainly be one of the best Fullbacks of 2014 and could be one of the best players of the NRL in 2014 (and I’m not just saying that because I’m a Wigan Warriors fan). Keep an eye out for Tomkins!
He’s fast, he’s skilful and he has a great step on him. Anthony Milford is going to have a blistering season with the Canberra Raiders and although the NRL teams do not give out jersey numbers, I think Milford has done enough in 2013 to deserve the number 1 jersey for the Canberra Raiders in 2014. Milford scored his first try vs Sharks and it was a try to remember. He was put through a gap on the half way line and sprinted ahead to side-step and beat the Sharks Fullback to score under the sticks. Milford is a strong Fullback, as shown against the Sharks (in the same game) beating 3 Sharks players to cross over the line. Anthony Milford also played in the 2013 RLWC for Samoa, scoring 1 try in four games and having the most tackle busts in the team. Milford ended up scoring 9 tries in 18 appearances for the Raiders last year, and even though he has already signed a contract with the Brisbane Broncos for 2015, he will still want to give it his all for the Raiders in 2014.
Ben Barba, one of the fastest and most skilful Fullbacks in the game. He had a year to forget in 2013 with lots of off-field problems and an injury, but he has now found a new club to call home and will most certainly want to impress there. Although he only made 17 appearances for the Bulldogs last year, he still managed to score 10 tries, clearly showing his skill when it comes to crossing the try-line. Brisbane Broncos have signed well for 2014 and Ben Barba might arguably be their best signing for 2014. Ben Barba has lots of skills and attributions, he has pace, he can finish in a tight position, he can return kicks well and as we have seen quite a few times he can score 100m tries. Ben Barba has won the Dally M Fullback of the Year and the Dally M Player of the Year, clearly indicating his skill and he will definitely be a Fullback to look out for in 2014.
So, there you go, 5 Fullbacks to look out for in the 2014 NRL Season. Who are your top 5? Remember to follow @LeagueFreak and be sure to follow my account on twitter @RLLatest for all the latest updates. Thanks for reading!