Look out for new talent time
FIVE future stars were thrust into a spectacular season for NRL rookies.
Featuring the NRL’s top tryscorer and a NSW State of Origin destroyer, here are the contenders for the Dally M rookie of the year.
PAYNE HAAS Despite making his debut in 2018, Haas is still eligible to be league’s greatest new blood.
The Broncos big man stormed on to the State of Origin scene for the Blues this year. The 19- year- old was selected to play for NSW after just 10 NRL games and helped secure a famous series win.
MAIKA SIVO Signed on a minimum wage deal from Penrith, Sivo stormed the NRL to become the season’s top try scorer.
A flying Fijian with a sledge hammer fend, the 25- year- old became arguably the Eels’ most popular player.
Sivo’s finest moment came when he scored a hat- trick against the Sea Eagles to take his season try total to 20.
BRONSON XERRI At just 18, Xerri became an instant sensation when he burned down the flank to show his stunning speed in his NRL debut.
The Cronulla junior has since established himself as one of the fastest men in rugby league and a genuine rival for Josh Addo- Carr and James Roberts. His left foot step is dynamite.
BRITON NIKORA Fellow Shark Nikora became a New Zealand Test player in his first season.
With size, footwork and speed, the 21- year- old is the prototype for the new wave of edge forwards.
RYAN PAPENHUYZEN This 21- year- old flyer came from nowhere to become the heir apparent for Billy Slater at the Melbourne Storm.
With blistering speed and a knack for the sensational, Craig Bellamy dropped starting halfback Brody Croft to make way for Papenhuyzen in a bold reshuffle.