Though these players do not regularly start for their side, they are important members of their team and the contributions they make off the bench cannot be understated.
8. Mitch Rein
The Titans have the advantage of having an explosive and enterprising hooker on the bench in Mitch Rein. At the age of 27 Rein has already played more than 140 first grade games. Nathan Peats is currently preferred over Rein at number nine, but Garth Brennan knows he can turn to Rein if he needs another offensive option, while still having a strong defender on the field.
7. Beau Scott
Beau Scott is an experienced second row forward that provides strong contributions in both attack and defence. Though Scott has unfortunately missed many games recently due to injury, there is no doubt the Eels benefit greatly from having such a quality forward come off the bench.
6. Sam Thaiday
Though Sam Thaiday’s best years are behind him, the Broncos forward is a valuable addition to the team. The former Australian and Queensland player adds experience and power to the Broncos pack and also has the ability to do some ball playing if required.
5. Te Maire Martin
A future star of the game, Te Maire Martin has already helped the Cowboys reach a grand final. Michael Morgan has already formed a good partnership with Martin, indicating he will be Jonathan Thurston’s replacement. For now, though, Martin provides an excellent utility option for Paul Green.
4. Mitchell Aubusson
One of the most versatile players in the NRL, Mitchell Aubusson would be a starter at many other clubs. Aubusson is able to play in the back row and at centre with ease, due to his impressive mix of speed and power, as well as defensive capability.
3. Ethan Lowe
Though Ethan Lowe has recently been demoted to the Cowboys bench in order for Coen Hess to start in the back row, he is still one of the Cowboys best forwards. Lowe is a dangerous ball runner that boasts solid defence, speed and determination in his game.
2. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Another player that has been recently demoted to the bench, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is one of the most intimidating props in the game when he is in form. The New Zealand prop has been extremely important in the Sydney Rooster’s domination over the last few years and will continue to provide big running metres for the Bondi club; even off the bench.
1. Leeson Ah Mau
Part of the Dragons prop rotation, Leeson Ah Mau has started 2018 with a bang. The Samoan international is often forgotten behind his starting props Paul Vaughan and James Graham but has shown that he can match them in strength and intensity when required. Ah Mau regularly runs for over 100 metres and breaks multiple tackles despite being given fewer minutes than some of his teammates.