Written by Callum Walker
With the current Super League season on hold, it’s only fair to look back over the weeks that have gone by to see just which five players have stood out the most in that time.
Having signed for the Castleford Tigers in July 2015, Paul McShane has gone from strength-to-strength at the West Yorkshire club.
Following a number of great performances that had him on the cusp of England selection for the 2017 World Cup, McShane took his career to the next level in Castleford’s table-topping season that year. Earning a new five-year deal in the process, McShane cleaned up at the Tigers’ awards night in 2018, receiving the player of the year, players’, fans’ and directors’ player of the year.
But, in 2020, the wily hooker’s game seems to have gone up a further notch. He currently leads the Man of Steel table with 15 points – six points clear of Aidan Sezer and Jonny Lomax in second and third respectively. Called up to the England squad for the first time, McShane should surely be given a spot if his form continues.
Currently second in the Man of Steel charts, Huddersfield Giants captain Aidan Sezer has enjoyed a stellar start to his career in West Yorkshire following his move from Canberra Raiders ahead of this season.
An ever-present for the Raiders in the NRL, Sezer played in Canberra’s first Grand Final for 25 years last season and has brought that experience with him to send Huddersfield into fifth in the Super League table with four wins from five.
A superb playmaker and a great communicator, the halfback has been running the show for the Giants in 2020, helping Huddersfield shock a few with their predictions.
Signing for Wigan in July 2019, Bevan French impressed in the latter stages of last season before staking a claim to be the Warriors’ first-choice fullback in 2020, despite the presence of former Man of Steel Zak Hardaker.
Though French was handed the number six shirt for 2020, the Australian flyer has settled in seamlessly at the back, linking superbly with halfback Jackson Hastings to help Wigan ascend to the top of the Super League table.
With real pace in abundance and the ability to create something out of nothing, French is someone that Wigan can get really excited about.
🔥 Bevan French, 2020 so far:
— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪️ (at 🏡) (@WiganWarriorsRL) March 25, 2020
Sam Tomkins appears to have gone under the radar since his move to Catalans ahead of the 2019 season, but in 2020, the wiry fullback looks to have got back to his best.
The French side currently sit in seventh in the Super League table with three wins from four with Tomkins’ running threat and eye for a gap certainly doing some damage in the early rounds – particularly against Castleford against whom he registered a hat-trick.
Aged 30, the Milton Keynes-born fullback may well have lost some of his pace, but he now makes up for that with intelligence and experience. He will be pivotal to the Dragons’ aims of making the top five.
With the signing of Luke Gale, most Leeds Rhinos fans believed Richie Myler’s time at the club was heading south. But, the halfback-turned-fullback has been impressive in the early rounds, deputizing at the back after coming off the substitutes’ bench.
In fact, Myler has started the 2020 season like a house on fire, contributing excellently to Leeds’ great form in the early rounds.
His attitude to losing his place is how all Rugby League and sporting stars should react. It can’t be easy getting pushed out of a side where you had started almost every game for two seasons, but Myler has worked hard to ensured he is still involved. And, he will be key to the Rhinos’ chances of finishing in that top five come the end of the year.