The wingers of today are more acrobatic than ever, scoring tries from outside the field of play, leaping high to catch towering bombs and providing great metres out of dummy half. Here are the top 5 wingers of today’s game.
5. Daniel Tupou, Sydney Roosters
Since making his debut in 2012, Tupou has notched an impressive 31 tries from 48 matches as well as a premiership in 2013, represented both his native Tonga and Australia, City, the Prime Minister’s XIII and been part of the NSW State of Origin team that ended 8 years of Queensland dominance. Not bad for a 23-year-old. With great leaping ability, standing at 195cm, and wonderful pace, Tupou looks set for a long career in the NRL and representative ranks.
4. Semi Radradra, Parramatta Eels
Big, strong, fast, and a real crowd pleaser, Radradra has been a shining light for an otherwise disappointing Parramatta Eels side of late. He made his NRL debut in round 18 of the 2013 season and showed enough form to represent Fiji at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. He backed that form up in 2014 scoring 19 tries in 24 games, and claimed Dally M Winger of the Year honours.
3. Manu Vatuvei, New Zealand Warriors
For over a decade now ‘The Beast’ has haunted opposition defences with an array of skills not usually associated with a 110kg man mountain. When he is on song, there is simply no stopping him, from his try-scoring abilities, to his charging runs to get his side out of trouble. He may have a few errors in his game, but’s that’s all part of the package. Vatuvei has been a delight to watch, scoring an impressive 135 tries from 194 matches for the Warriors as well as making 9 appearances for New Zealand.
2. Jason Nightingale, St George Illawarra Dragons
Ungainly, awkward, call it what you want but the style of play only Jason Nightingale can produce is very effective. A wonderful defensive winger that gets his hands dirty when he needs to and a very good finisher, often scoring tries from the most impossible of situations. Ultra consistent and safe under the high ball, he has also impressed for New Zealand, scoring a tournament-high 5 tries at the 2014 Four Nations tournament.
1. Brett Morris, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Hailing from the small town of Kiama on the South Coast of NSW, Brett Morris has proved to be one of the all-time great wingers. He rarely has a bad game, and produces his best at club, state and Test level consistently and defensively, there is no better winger in the NRL. He scored 112 tries in 169 games for the Dragons between 2006 and 2014 ans is set to reunite with twin brother Josh at the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in 2015. He only needs half a chance and with blinding pace and great footwork, he will leave defenders grasping at thin air.