Talking RL: Players who have impressed so far

Stefan Marsh
Stefan Marsh

Tonight’s opponents, Castleford, are the last remaining side Wigan have yet to face in 2016. Here, I’ve picked out a player at each of the other clubs who has caught my eye...

Catalans – Dave Taylor.

When I first saw the big man at the DW Stadium in round one, I wasn’t convinced.

Our good media friend Bilko described him as looking as if he had a badly-packed parachute in his shorts!

But since then he’s proved destructive and he has ball-skills, too. If Catalans are to maintain their top-four charge, he surely has a big role to play.

Huddersfield – Jermaine McGillvary.

I’m a huge fan of the blockbusting winger.

He impressed for England at the DW last November and his performances have been among the few highlights for a Giants side doing it tough right now.

Salford – Robert Lui.

Probably my favourite player to watch so far this year.

The former North Queensland stand-off has added some much-needed sparkle to a workmanlike Salford side.

Hull FC – Gareth Ellis.

It’s been great to see the ex-England forward finally string some games together after a horror run of bad luck with injuries since returning from the NRL.

In the twilight of his career but still a force.

Leeds – Zak Hardaker.

The reigning Man of Steel has not been able to inspire many wins but at least he appears to be having a dig most weeks.

His goal-kicking has let him down at times, but he’s had big boots to fill.

Widnes – Stefan Marsh.

Opposite winger Corey Thompson has taken many of the headlines, but Marsh has been impressive on the left edge.

The ex-Warriors back has shown great footwork and pace in scoring many of his nine tries.

St Helens – Theo Fages.

He didn’t make the squad at the start of the year but the young Frenchman has caught the eye since, especially against Warrington a week ago. Erratic, but plenty of promise.

Hull KR – Josh Mantellato.

The winger has missed several games with injury but he’s earned a spot on this list – firstly for kicking a sideline conversion while temporarily blind in one eye, and then by playing on in the derby with a broken arm for 75 minutes!

Respect.

Warrington – Ben Currie.

Let others wax lyrically about two-time player of the month Chris Sandow, who has been terrific.

But 21-year-old back-rower Currie, for my money, has been outstanding and will surely be in the England mix by the end of the year.

Wakefield - Jacob Miller.

The Australian halfback scored a hat-trick against Wigan last week, nearly had a fourth, and kicked really well.

Benefiting from the enterprising style which new coach Chris Chester encourages.

Castleford – Denny Solomona.

The best rule change in rugby league recently was making the corner post ‘in’ rather than ‘out’, leading to some spectacular tries by athletic wingmen, and Solomona is leading the way.