Centres are such an underrated position in a rugby league team. While a winger gets all the plaudits for their unbelievable put downs, often it’s the centres perfect pass that allows those players outside them to score. In the years gone by there have been some amazing players at centre including Mal Meninga, Mark Gasnier and Mick Cronin. However, heading into season 2015, lets look at the top 5 players who could help lead their team to the premiership.
5. Konrad Hurrell, New Zealand Warriors:
Not the most gifted but certainly one of the most dangerous, Hurrell is simply a beast. While injury and off-field problems blighted his 2014 campaign, on his day he is one of the best centres in the game. He has made some of the strongest defenders look like children and with a strong off-season he could rediscover that form that brought fear to all defenders in the NRL.
4. Jarrod Croker, Canberra Raiders:
What can’t this guy do? Taking on the captaincy this season means that the Raiders best player has been rewarded for his hard work and great play. A noted try scorer, great passer and impressive goal-kicker, Croker has all the capabilities of making the NSW side in the years to come after representing Country in the past. While other centres such as Michael Jennings get the plaudits, Croker to me is one of the standout players in the competition despite being in a team that has struggled in recent years.
3. Justin Hodges, Brisbane Broncos:
Injuries may have slowed Hodges down in recent seasons but the quality of the 32-year-old means he is still in the top three centres in the game. After playing a bit of fullback at the back end of last season, the arrival of Darius Boyd and the movement of Jordan Kahu to the custodian position means Hodges returns to where he has played most of his career. With some excitement back at Red Hill due to the return of Wayne Bennett, the Broncos will be hoping that the veteran can turn it on in 2015.
2. Josh Morris, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs:
One of the most iconic scenes in State of Origin history involved Josh Morris last year. After injuring his knee and getting treatment on the sideline, a break from Greg Inglis flung the Bulldogs centre into action and a last lunge ensured that NSW won game one and ultimately go on to win the series. With his brother making his way over to Canterbury this season, their combination could be vital this season. An excellent attacker and superb defender, the exceptional talents of Morris will mean he is in for a big 2015.
1. Jamie Lyon, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles:
At times the coaches of NSW probably had wished they were actually Commissioner Gordon. Why? Well he could use the Bat light to summon Batman. They needed a Lyon light to call the man who has been the best centre for a long time. After being criticised for coming straight back into the team after returning from England, he decided that his representative career was over and he decided to focus on his club career. That has definitely worked as he has won multiple premierships and is now the captain of Manly. Not only has he made the players outside him shine but he has won games from his try scoring and goal-kicking. Despite getting on, he seems like he is a fine wine; getting better with age.