Ben Barba – Bulldogs
Having already broken several point-scoring records while playing for the Bulldogs Toyota Cup team, Ben made his NRL debut in 2009, and established a regular first grade spot by 2010. Playing at fullback, his pace and try-scoring instincts have been a revelation for the Bulldogs – helping the 22 year old to become one of the league’s most lethal attacking players. Ben finished the 2010 season with 15 tries to his name, and as of Round 15, 2011, he was the NRL’s joint leading try-scorer, having crossed for 13 tries in 15 games.
Jharal Yow Yeh – Broncos
In 2010, Jharal went from being a fresh-faced rookie to one of the game’s best outside backs, scoring a whopping 18 tries in 18 games in his debut season in the NRL. His outstanding form continued into the 2011 season, and he was rewarded with selection into the Queensland team for all three games of the State of Origin series where he scored tries in Games One and Three. As of Round 15, 2011, Jharal has scored 13 tries in 14 matches, making him the joint leading try-scorer in the competition.
Jamal Idris – Bulldogs
Jamal is a former NRL Rookie of the Year who continues his development as one of the game’s elite centres. Noted for his size and athleticism, a strong 2010 season saw Jamal selected in the New South Wales’ side for Game One of that year’s series, and he finished the year being named in the Australian Kangaroos’ training squad. While the Bulldogs have struggled in 2011, Jamal has been among the club’s best performing players and in May, he played his first game for Australia, scoring on debut.
Chris Sandow – Rabbitohs
2011 has seen Chris mature into one of the game’s elite half-backs. He’s a personality player who has endeared himself to league fans by playing well above his size, and the 2011 NRL season has been the strongest of Chris’ career so far. Chris has produced several dominant performances in 2011 and has also developed into the league’s most accurate goal-kicker. His rising status in 2011 was evidenced by a lucrative contract offer from the Parramatta Eels, and Chris will join the club in 2012.
Johnathan Thurston – Cowboys
One of rugby league’s most influential players, Johnathan earned Man of the Match honours in both the inaugural All Stars match and Game One of the 2010 State of Origin series, prompting numerous former players to label him as the Maroons’ greatest ever half-back. A playmaker who is renowned for his tenacity and competitiveness, Johnathan’s form in 2011 has seen the Cowboys exceed all expectations to be sitting comfortably amid the top eight mid-season, and as of Round 15, Johnathan led the Dally M Medal count, awarded to the game’s best player.