Every NRL player has to ply their trade under pressure. Whether it be the pressure of their coach, their fans, or the players themselves, everyone expects the best out of every player across the competition.
That said, there are certain players who really need to shine in 2019.
That may sound silly, as every player needs to play well, but the below five players will enter the new year under increased scrutiny and pressure.
This list could be 100 players long, but as I see it right now, these five players are looking to have huge off-seasons so they can hit the ground running in 2019.
5. Kieran Foran
I’m a big fan of Foran but he is far from the player he was during his Manly days. He’s on a huge contract and was recruited to be the man to return the Bulldogs back to the finals.
In 2018 he was awful. I say that with the greatest respect but he in no way justified his massive price tag through a combination of injury and sub par form.
The Bulldogs played much better footy after Foran’s injury forced a reshuffle in the side so his return will be met with huge scrutiny from fans in blue and white.
He is, by far, the Dogs biggest name and biggest star, and if they are ANY hope of a winning season, the New Zealand half needs to fire, in a big way.
Whether or not he still has it in him after a series of injury plagued seasons is in question.
If he doesn’t start well, Dogs fans will want him dropped to see the young halves combination returned.
Given the huge money Foran is on, it will take a very brave man to drop him to NSW cup either way.