Player Who Never Reached Their Potential – November 2009

Everyone has an eye on a youngster who will one day be a superstar. Some make it, others dont, but this list ios about players who made the grade, looked like champions of the future, but never kicked on for some reason.

1. Iestyn Harris – Warrington Wolves, Leeds Rhinos, Bradford Bulls
A star even as a teenager, many predictaed Iestyn Harris would be the man to take Wales to the next level. He joined the ranked of Great Britains elite on the back of an era of Welsh stars that were just leaving the game.

Harris moved from Warrington to Leeds via a big transfer fee and the move also brought success in terms of trophies. The problem was that his game never made the same progression. By the time he decided to make a big money move to play Rugby Union in Wales, his peak in Rugby League had come and gone.

Harris returned to Rugby League a shadow of the player he could have been.

2. Danny McGuire – Leeds Rhinos
Rated as one of the best young prospects in the English game for years, McGuire had pace, skill, a good kicking and passing game and good size for a Standoff.

In his debut season for Leeds he was outsanding, scoring 39 tries in all competitions and winning numerous awards. Over the years McGuire has won was a key part of Leeds Challenge Cup and Super League winning sides, however his game never kicked on and never was this more evident than at Test level.

After being given a number of chances to succed, McGuire was dropped in the 2009 Four Nations for another teenager, Kyle Eastmond. The change brought instant success and may have signaled the end of McGuires international career at just 26 years of age.

3. Jason Ryles – St George/Illawarra Dragons, Catalan Dragons, Sydney Roosters
As a junior Jason Ryles played halfback but by the time he found himself in the NRL playing for the St George/Illawarra Dragons, Ryles was rated one of the best young prospects in the game. His size and mobility were great and he showed a willingness to throw himself into the game.

Ryles played State Of Origin and went on to play for Australia, however his form started to tail off at a young age and by the time Ryles decided to move to France to play for the Catalan Dragons, he had a reputation for being soft and not being a big game player.

4. Tim Smith – Parramatta Eels, Wigan Warriors
It is tough being a good young halfback at Parramatta as ghost of Peter Sterling is always looking over your shoulder. However after having a great rookie season, and taking out the Dally M Rookie Of The Year award, Tim Smith looked to be on his way to bigger and better things.

It all fell apart very quickly however, with one off field incident turning into many.

Smith had issues with alcohol and then asked for time off from the Eels after announcing he had Bi Polar disorder. He then asked for a release to go over and play for Wigan in Super League where he continued to struggle before being released in 2009.

5. Tasesa Lavea – Melbourne Storm, Northern Eagles
Signed by the NRL Premiers the Melbourne Storm, Lavea had a great rookie season in 2000 being the clubs leading point scorer and winning the Dally M Rookie Of The Year award.

Lavia was part of New Zealands 2000 World Cup campeign and in one of the four Test Matches he did play, he managed break the record for the most points scored in a game for the Kiwis when he scored 32 points against the Cook Islands.

Lavea had a very quiet second season with the Melbourne Storm and left the club at the end of 2001 to join the Northern Eagles. However injury hampered his season and by the end of 2002 his Rugby league career was over. He went off to play Rugby Union with much greater success.

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