SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 03: Jarryd Hayne takes part in a Parramatta Eels NRL pre-season training session at Old Saleyards Reserve on January 3, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Regardless of how good you are, you’re always going to have something that doubts you’re capacities. And even though you reach the highest of levels and manage to play in the National Rugby League, you always need to prove that you’re worthy of it.

The NRL features the best league players from across the world and everybody expects a lot from the “star” players that they know.

Today, we’re going to discuss three of the best Rugby League players in our competition. Guys that turn heads wherever they go and that can demolish all opposition but still have something to prove this season.

(This is part one of a three-part series)

Greg Inglis (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

Since his historic Grand Final berth, even G.I himself would admit that the past three seasons haven’t been great.

Inglis has been no stranger to the sideline, in and out of training due to consecutive injuries.

Though, in 2017 would come the most heartbreaking of them all. How one leg injury almost tarnished Inglis’ decorated career. The Queensland star checked into a mental health facility, emphasising his devastation.

Thankfully, Inglis would overcome his struggles and has returned to training ahead of this season.

Will the freakish Inglis that we once knew rise above combatants and lead his Souths side back into the top eight? Has his athletic ability weakened during the process of his rehabilitation?

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Those are all questions that will be answered when Inglis finally runs out with the Rabbitohs after his one year spell out of the game, and the Rugby League community is eagerly anticipating the return of one of their favourite sons, Greg Inglis.

Mitchell Pearce (Newcastle Knights)

Walking out on the Sydney Roosters, Mitchell Pearce is once again under the spotlight of the media.

Much of the Rugby League community have criticised Pearce’s departure from the Bondi club believing he’s missing out on a rare opportunity to learn from Cooper Cronk. After being told he would have to sit out on the bench, Pearce reluctantly rejected Trent Robinson and the side that he’d played over ten years with.

Inking a new deal with the Newcastle Knights, Pearce will look to make a statement. To prove to Newcastle faithful of the direction he’s willing to steer the club into, and to remind the Roosters of who they lost grasp of.

Pearce will combine with Newcastle young halves Connor Watson and Kalyn Ponga, and is bound to forge a formidable combination that might turn the Knights powerful potential into old playing points.

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Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta Eels)

Jarryd Hayne’s journey to the NFL has been nothing short of remarkable. While many Americans strive to even be in contention to be selected in the 50-man squad for the San Francisco 49ers, Hayne barged his way through and managed to squeeze six games under his belt.

Then transitioning over to Rugby Union, Hayne’s bid to represent Fiji at the Rugby 7’s fell short. He ultimately returned to where it all began, returning to the club that recruited the athlete at the age of 16, the Parramatta Eels.

Before the well-illustrated Eels’ poster-boy would return, he experienced a series of heartache with the Gold Coast Titans. Many believe it was a case of selfishness, that Hayne didn’t train accordingly due to his status. But the problem at hand seems as though Hayne just isn’t the superstar that we once knew.

In 2018, Jarryd Hayne has the chance to prove myself and thousands of Rugby League fans wrong. A chance to silence the critiques of the fans of Parramatta, who themselves once idolised the ‘Hayne Plane’.

Jarryd Hayne’s career is on a threshold and if he doesn’t pull up his socks this season, then it may well be his last chance to resurrect his incredible career.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Inglis needs to prove a point ?
    Pearce ? Really what exactly? , Jarrod on the other hand also has nothing to prove , we already know he’s a reknaw ! Highest order selfish burg

    • Inglis’ point to prove is that he still has it after another stint on the sideline.

      Pearce I am sure would like to show the Roosters that they made a mistake in choosing Cronk over him.

      As for Jarryd, he should be out to show that he can fit into the team, not be the centre of it.

      • E47 your not serious are you ? There’s only 1 bloke that needs to prove himself and that’s Jarrod , blokes a circus and honestly he’s a perfect fit at the Eels

        • It doesn’t say needs to prove themselves. It says has a point to prove. There is a clear distinction there. Are you saying that GI has no intention of proving that he is still an elite player? Or that Pearce doesn’t want to show that the Roosters should have shown more faith in him?

        • Why the bad blood boys? Save that for the season when round 1 begins. I admit I am lost about “tihs” but there must be a cream for that so don’t despair.

          I agree that Inglis has nothing to prove but the truth is he will WANT to silence a lot of critics who all think that he is passed it. He will be itching to have a crack after being out for a whole season and I am sure that he will remind everyone just how good he is. The only question is whether is knee can stand up to it. If it goes again it could be curtains on his career and that would not just be a massive loss for Souths but for the game as a whole.

          Likewise with Pearce, he will WANT to prove that the Roosters were wrong not to have shown faith in him but he will also NEED to prove that he can play outside of a safe Roosters system that always had a team filled with rep players and were always competitive. The Knights coming from last place in 2017 will be a challenge for Pearce but fortunately their recruitment overall has been second to none IMO. Rather than focusing on two superstars of the game they have signed a team (10) of solid, reliable first graders (some with exciting potential). They will also have the combination of Pearce and Watson with Guerra as an edge back rower to draw on.

          I really don’t see how this is one was worth going to war over.

        • SSTID_1970 I agree, Those three players will have blinders this year. Hayne especially if he is given the fullback job where he will set up play and chime in at will and with a good team around him will be brilliant. Inglis has nothing to prove he just needs to keep healthy, reminds me of the same situation a few years ago when Minichello got hurt in his old age but came back to captain a premiership side. Nothing to prove but just needs to avoid injury. No body forgets how to walk. Pearce is a really good player but can’t kick in general play for peanuts. Bombs to deep and clearing kicks always down the wing or fullbacks throat. But Pearce always has a solid game throughout each week. He will thrive up at Newcastle, however like you said Newcastle are no Roosters out fit and he will have to try a few things on his own. The bottom line is ALL will have really good seasons and I still think with Johns at the Roosters he has turned them into the feeder club for the knights. Newcastle could scrap into the eight this year.

    • of course inglis has a point to prove, he needs to prove he still has the ability, talent, mental toughness and body to play at this level. After a year out of the game and the well-documented issues he had during that time, and reasonably little football over the previous 1-2 years of course he has a point to prove. A lot of critics are writing him off and saying he will never be the player he was – I would assume he would want to make a point and prove them wrong. I, for one, tend to side with the critics who say he may not get back to anything resembling his pre-injury form but would also never write a champion off.
      Pearce too has a point to prove – he would want to prove that he is one of the elite halves in the game and rorters made a mistake in recruiting Cronk.
      Hayne also has a point to prove – all the critics say its all about him and he is greedy, selfish and only about the money, he has a point to prove that he is all about team and that is why he gave up a 1+m contract in 2014 and dropped 700k a season to go home. I don’t expect him to hit the heights of 2009 or 2014 but feel that he will go a long way to prove he is not washed up as a player and that he can play in a team where he is not the focal point. Did we hear all the “cancer” references to him in 2013 and 2014 when he was at the summit? Man management was most likely the problem at the GC. IN saying that I am also not saying he was blameless…..
      These are 3 great redemption stories coming up in 2018 – how many will be fulfilled?

    • Good Call, to be fair any player who is coming back from a decent injury or moving to a new team/even the Corey Oates change of position will bring attention. These are the sub stories that will make people tune in for the first few rounds. The quality of the games will keep us watching from that point on!

      • redv90, i totally agree. Hunt will have the critics on him from day one as will Hayne.
        Inglis deserves “some” sympathy>? or maybe breathing space before the jury comes in.
        As for Pearce i dont think he has as much pressure as there are many new faces in Newy that have to live up to their signings as well.

        Last but not least for saints, in terms a of a point to prove it would be JG. Can you imagine being playing 6 seasons 3 as captain of a club you love only to be turfed out over their handling of the salary cap>?

  2. @ billy

    From the “Who are we to judge?” (Erin Molan story):

    SSTID_1970 January 17, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    We need a modern version of Controversy Corner and with someone just as opinionated, argumentative and cantankerous as “the Moose” Rex Mossop. Is anyone else thinking Phil Gould?

    billy January 18, 2018 at 11:05 am
    c’mon – more of gus gould on tv – seriously its gotta be a gee-up, his ego and sense of self-righteousness is not what we need more of. Something who thinks outside of his own sphere of importance to the game, someone who has the interests of the game at heart and not his own self-driven ideologies…

    You just described Rex Mossop mate, and THAT was my point. I agree there should be new faces but I was thinking on the fly about Rugby League personalities that could recreate the atmosphere of the old “Controversy Corner”. I think that Tommy Raudonikis and Geoff Toovey would be great choices as they speak their mind and don’t pull punches as does Gould, Sterlo and Matty Johns. Even though he can be a brick head at times, even Mark Geyer can tell it like it is without pulling punches. THAT is what “Controversy Corner” used to be about. The fireworks between Mossop and Kelly, the difference of opinion where people would not be afraid to talk about the elephant in the room but rather attack it head on.

    Perhaps a show called “Coaches Corner” with “retired” coaches like Michael Maguire, Des Hasler, Matthew Elliott, Geoff Toovey, Tommy Raudonikis (NSW Origin) AND Phil Gould and Wayne Bennett when he retires at the end of 2018. Goodness knows I can’t get enough of Wayne! LOL

  3. Any suggestions for part 2?

    I’ve already included Shaun Johnson and Ben Hunt.

    Who would you like to see.

    • Wayne Bennett.

      One premiership in 11 years and a reputation that in his mind at least is deserving of a Bronze statue outside of Suncorp Stadium, who has only ever succeeded as a coach with a team of rep players to make his job easy. If ever there was anyone with something to prove in 2018 it is Pappa Smurf. Kevin Walters is in the wings learning his lines ready to take the spotlight if King Lear falters. Bahahahahahahahahahaha

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