NRL Rd 1 - Wests Tigers v Storm
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 12: Xavier Coates of the Storm looks on during the warm-up before the round one NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Melbourne Storm at CommBank Stadium, on March 12, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The winger used to be the worst and least important player on the team. The player that wasn't quite good enough to be a half or fullback and wasn't strong enough to play centre.

There's a reason there are a million footy jokes about wingers. That age is well and truly over.

While it might still technically be the least important, wingers are crucial to a team's success. These days, they take all the hard runs off the line when their team is in trouble and score most of the tries. Metre-making and try-scoring.

Both are pretty important aspects of rugby league.

With players seemingly getting younger and younger, and their talent getting higher and higher, there is a huge pool of players who are scoring tries on the wing only a few years into their career.

Here are the five best wingers aged 22 and under.


5. Jason Saab - 21

While he hasn't caught fire like he did last year, let's not forget what Jason Saab did in his first full year of NRL after originally moving to Manly from the St George Illawarra Dragons alongside teammate Reuben Garrick.

Scoring an insane 26 tries in 27 games last year, if Saab got an inch of space his blistering pace turned it into a try. Teams are more aware of what he can do now, taking away the space this season he got in 2021.

Nevertheless, Saab is only 21 years old and with a few years and a few more kilograms under and on his belt, I have no doubt he will continue to develop into the player we saw he can be last year.