SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 03: Josh McGuire of the Broncos is tackled during the round 13 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Brisbane Broncos at Allianz Stadium on June 3, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Sports editor-at-large for the Daily Telegraph Phil “Buzz” Rothfield has named his NRL Team of the Year with a few of controversial decisions.

The team consists of the best performers in each position, along with also naming the coach, rookie and “buy” of the year.

The Melbourne Storm dominate the team with five players featuring but last year’s Dally M Medal winner Cooper Cronk is not one of them.

Perhaps the most controversial (or just confusing) selection in the team though is the prop, with the player chosen by Rothfield not playing a single game in that position in 2017.

What are your thoughts on the team chosen by Rothfield? Would you make any changes?

Check out the team below and leave your comments!

Buzz Rothfield’s Team of the Year


Winner: Billy Slater (Storm)

Contenders: Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles), Darius Boyd (Broncos), Clinton Gutherson (Eels)


Winner: Suliasi Vunivalu (Storm)

Contenders: Jordan Rapana (Raiders), Alex Johnston (Rabbitohs), Akuila Uate (Sea Eagles)


Winner: Will Chambers (Storm)

Contenders: Dylan Walker (Sea Eagles), Tautau Moga (Broncos), James Roberts (Broncos)


Winner: Cameron Munster (Storm)

Contenders: Luke Keary (Rabbitohs), Michael Morgan (Cowboys), Gareth Widdop (Dragons)


Winner: Nathan Cleary (Panthers)

Contenders: Cooper Cronk (Storm), Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles), Mitchell Moses (Eels)

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Winner: Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys)

Contenders: Paul Gallen (Sharks), Dale Finucane (Storm), Jake Trbojevic (Sea Eagles)


Winner: Matt Gillett (Broncos)

Contenders: Boyd Cordner (Roosters), Wade Graham (Sharks), Angus Crichton (Rabbitohs)


Winner: Josh McGuire (Broncos)

Contenders: Paul Vaughan (Dragons), Nathan Brown (Eels), Dylan Napa (Roosters)


Winner: Cameron Smith (Storm)

Contenders: Apisai Koroisau (Sea Eagles), Cameron McInnes (Dragons), Josh Hodgson (Raiders)


Winner: Brad Arthur (Eels)

Contenders: Craig Bellamy (Storm), Trent Barrett (Sea Eagles), Shane Flanagan (Sharks)


Winner: Nick Cotric (Raiders)

Contenders: Jayden Brailey (Sharks), Brock Lamb (Knights), Brodie Croft (Storm)


Winner: Nathan Brown (Eels)

Contenders: Luke Keary (Roosters), Josh Addo-Carr (Storm), Blake Green (Sea Eagles)


  1. I dont think Cleary or Chambers have been that good. Cleary has been good the last 5 weeks but not long term. And Chambers hasnt been anywhere near good enough to push out players like Roberts and Walker. Taumalolo also hasnt been overly impressive this year and I think any 3 of the contenders he named at lock would be better choices. And Keary should be ahead of Munster. Other than those his team was very accurate, not to much of that cronulla bias.

    Heres my said (yes a couple of manly players, can anyone really argue with DCEs spot?)

    Fullback: Slater
    Contenders: Gutherson, T Trbojevic, Boyd

    Wing: Vunivalu
    Contenders: Uate (not far off based on his amazing return to form), Addo-carr, Johnston

    Centre: Walker/Roberts (cant split them, walker started the year on fire up until a couple of weeks ago and Roberts is finishing on fire)
    Contenders: Moga, Blake, Chambers

    Five-Eight: Keary
    Contenders: Munster, Morgan, Widdop

    Halfback: Cherry-Evans
    Contenders: Cleary, Pearce, Moses

    Prop: Vaughan
    Contenders: Napa, Taupau, Brown

    Hooker: Smith
    Contenders: Koroisau, McInnes, Granville

    Second row: Gillett
    Contenders: Hess, Crichton, Graham

    Lock: J Trbojevic
    Contenders: Taumalolo, Gallen, Finucane

    Rookie: Cotric
    Contenders: Croft, Brailey, Lamb

    Coach: Barrett (purely based on how he turned around players career and how well he went with our roster)
    Contenders: Bellamy, Arthur

    Best Buy: Brown
    Contenders: Green, Vaughan, Keary

    • I am not going to argue semantics on why I disagree with a few of your picks. I will say though that Arthur over Barrett, no question in my book. On paper, Manly still have a better roster than the Eels, but Arthur has managed to get more out of his players. You speak about Barrett turning around careers and how well he went with the roster, and I agree to an extent, but it hasn’t been sustained when it matters, and you guys are now a chance of not playing finals footy (however unlikely that may be as the Dragons will probably need to win both games to jump you). I am not saying Barrett hasn’t done a fine job, he definitely has, I just think Arthur is a bit ahead of him, and Bellamy with the record the Storm have this year is right up there too.

      For the record I will go with
      Slater (Tom T)
      Vunivalu (Johnston)
      Walker (Roberts)
      Munster (Keary)
      Cronk (Cleary)
      Smith (Koroisau)
      Vaughan (Napa)
      Gillett (Graham)
      Taumalolo (still the best forward in the game ) (Jake T)
      Arthur (Bellamy – The record of the Storm this year in unbelievable)
      Cotric (Croft)
      Brown (Keary)

      • I think you’ve nailed it Eels.
        As for Barrett I think he’s been the biggest surprise, and I’m not being condescending, in my eyes at least. I didn’t think he could coach under 16’s, let alone a FG side, and is showing potential as a FG coach. It takes more a season or two to make a coach, but he is on the right track so far, and outperforming in the short term at least. That said, it’s a long road, and I still doubt he’ll make it medium / long term.

  2. Here is mine.

    Fullback: Billy Slater
    Contenders: Gutherson, T Trbojevic, Gordon

    Wing: Suliasi Vunivalu
    Contenders: Uate, Addo-Carr, Johnston

    Centre: Dylan Walker
    Contenders: Moga, Roberts, Chambers

    Five-Eighth: Gareth Widdop
    Contenders: Norman, Morgan, Keary

    Halfback: Daly Cherry-Evans
    Contenders: Cleary, Pearce, Cronk

    Prop: Paul Vaughan
    Contenders: Napa, Wallace, Brown, McGuire

    Hooker: Cameron Smith
    Contenders: Koroisau, McCullough, McInnes

    Second row: Matt Gillett
    Contenders: Crichton, Graham, Kaufusi, Hess

    Lock: Paul Gallen
    Contenders: Taumalolo, J Trbojevic, de Belin

    Utility: Connor Watson
    Contenders: Nikorima, Cook, Frawley, Peachey

    Rookie: Nick Cotric
    Contenders: Harawira-Naera, Brailey, Crofto

    Coach: Craig Bellamy
    Contenders: Barrett, Arthur, Robinson

    Best Buy: Paul Vaughan
    Contenders: Brown, Addo-Carr, Wallace

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