Although no kid grows up dreaming of being a bench player, the impact that they can have on the game is just as significant.

Case and point the NSW Origin team for 2018, although Jack De Belin started at lock for the Blues, Jake Trbojevic is a far superior player in terms of his tackling and running output.

However, Brad Fittler thought that Trbojevic had greater potential to change the game off the bench than De Belin, so he made the selection accordingly.

So take a look below at who we think are the best bench players in the NRL.

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1. Joe Ofahengaue

Off the back of his finest season in the NRL to date, the man who is affectionately known as ‘Joffa’ has finally lived up to the hype and cemented himself in the Broncos middle-forward rotation.

Ofahengaue put up numbers in 2018 that most starting forwards would envy, averaging a monstrous 120.6 running metres per game and 27 tackles from his 24 appearances.

Ofahengaeue is very much the new age front-rower, in that he is tall and built well, but surprisingly agile and possesses good late footwork at the line. Which he utilises to help gain post contact metres, of which he averaged 42.3 per game in 2018. For context, Paul Vaughan (who is notorious for his leg-drive and ability to break through the first line of defence) averaged 50 post contact metres per game in 2018.

Following a bumper 2018 coupled with the departure of veterans Sam Thaiday, Josh McGuire and Korbin Sims, Ofahengaue looks set to push himself into the starting pack in season 2019.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – JULY 08: Joe Ofahengaue of the Brocos celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during the round 17 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Brisbane Broncos at Cbus Super Stadium on July 8, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
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2 COMMENTS

  1. I thought when Sims came off the bench for NSW at Origin time he was like letting a Pitty off its leash. Masterstroke. Same with Hunt (at hooker) and Ponga coming off the bench for QLD. Back in the days the best guy off the bench was Ifeka Paleasena (probably spelled wrong). Just came on for 10-20 mins and turned it up for the Warriors.

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