Meet the super heroes of September
As Fox League prepares to ramp things up for the finals, it’s exciting to think about which players will play starring roles. Here’s five fleet-footed footballers who could very well be your team’s superhero this September.
“THEFOX” Josh Addo-Carr (Melbourne Storm)
Josh Addo-Carr couldn’t be prouder to have his great-grandfather’s name up in lights: “His last name was Fox. I love it. Ever since I was a little kid playing football, my Mum started calling me Fox.”
A handy pick-up from the Wests Tigers, the Storm replaced Flying Fijian Marika Koroibete with arguably a faster model. The 22-year-old is a joy to watch; a fast, try-scoring machine who sits among the top-five this year.
With Suliasi Vunivalu on the other flank, Melbourne boasts two of the most elusive wingers in the game. They’ve given fans plenty of reasons to rise to their feet this year, and I dare say there’ll be more highlights to come.
“MOOSE” Josh McGuire (Brisbane Broncos)
Originally given the nickname Showbags for his reputation as being a “Big Show”, Josh McGuire somehow convinced everyone “Moose” McGuire was way better. And, it stuck.
The team’s serial pest and practical joker, Moose gets away with it because he’s so damn tough when he pulls that Broncos jersey on. He leads Brisbane’s forward pack when it comes to metres made this season and relishes in a bit of niggle. Don’t be surprised to see Moose spice things up this finals series.
“THEHULK” Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)
Two gold teeth, built like a Clydesdale, with a rampaging running style – this guy was born to wreak havoc on a footy field. Like the Hulk, Taumalolo smashes things for fun. That’s bad news for opposition defensive lines.
Taumalolo picked up right where he left off last year, and then some. The Dally M-medallist signed a ten-year deal and hasn’t sat back to enjoy the fat pay cheque. He’s running more metres, playing more minutes and making more tackles than ever before.
Without Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott, the Cowboys might just need a superhero effort to go deep into the finals. And I can’t think of anyone better to lead the charge than the Hulk.
“NUG” Jake Friend (Sydney Roosters)
Jake Friend is seen as a "nugget of gold" amongst his team-mates. Rated up there with Kangaroos captain Cameron Smith when it comes to his work rate, Nug receives the ultimate praise from fellow hard nut Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
“Pearcey and Keary do all the fancy stuff, but when you throw Friendy into that spine, he’s the glue that brings it all together,” WaereaHargreaves says.
Friend is the player who motivates the team in the thick of battle. And Trent Robinson is going to need every bit of that leadership to rise to the top if they’re to turn around a disastrous 2016 season and make it deep into September.
“TOMMYTURBO” Tom Trbojevic (Manly Sea Eagles)
Partly because it’s easier than saying his real name, but mostly because of his need for speed, the media affectionately dubbed the local junior Tommy Turbo.
Standing at 193cm tall and weighing 105kg, this 20-year-old has the world at his feet.
“He’s tough,” says Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles captain Daly Cherry-Evans. “Teams might try to bully a young fullback, but he just palms people away or just runs around them.”
In his first full year at fullback, he’s shone, sitting ahead of the Storm's Billy Slater, Brisbane Bronco Darius Boyd and Wests Tigers' James Tedesco when it comes to tries, average metres and line breaks. Even though we all love to hate Manly, I can’t wait to see Tommy T make his mark on the finals series ...
Tommy Turbo, the Fox [above left] and Nug [above right].