Written by Joshua Dean
Photo by NRL Images
The jury is still out on Penrith junior Wayde Egan. Some see him as a potential superstar, whereas others see him as an interchange player.
At 23 years of age with three seasons of first-grade under his belt, 2021 is the year where he needs to cement the number nine jersey as his own.
The Lithgow Storm junior’s potential is sky-high. He could be a top-five hooker in the NRL, or he could be a solid utility player coming off the bench.
Possessing a high footy IQ and an underrated kicking game, there are some promising signs for the future. Whilst his statistics from last year were average at best, as the season progressed we saw him grow in confidence and start to run the ball more which produced some handy runs from dummy half. Looking back on his 2020 campaign, he did a solid job for a team dealing with so much dysfunction.
In 2021, he must get better though. After bringing in some big and mobile players, the Warriors now have their best forward pack in years. Add an already top-quality backline, and Egan has a massive opportunity to show off his full skillset as a player. If he can get it right, the New Zealand club could become one of the best-attacking sides in the NRL.
— Vodafone Warriors (@NZWarriors) January 11, 2021
The acquisition of coach Nathan Brown may also help Wayde Egan take his game to the next level. Brown, a hooker himself in his playing days, has specialised as a dummy-half coach for several NRL sides. If anyone can get the most out of Egan, it’s him.
There are not many players under more pressure than Wayde Egan in 2021. Though Warriors management has said that they believe he is the long-term number nine for the club, he needs to repay their faith and take his game to the next level.