They were either on the cusp of an NRL debut or enjoyed a handful of first-grade games last season, but these are the five players that Jamie Soward believes will become familiar names in 2020.
I really like the way he goes about his business, he’s a hard-working middle who can play big minutes and he has shown a lot of character in how he has bounced back from an ACL injury and cement a spot in the Sharks Top 30 squad.
He has proven to be a big game player after a Man of the Match performance in the State Championship on Grand Final day, and proved crucial in the Jets' run to the Canterbury Cup NSW decider against Wentworthville.
I think he will definitely play first-grade at some point in the season and it’s probably only a matter of time before he makes a name for himself and becomes a core part of the Cronulla forward pack in 2020.
Plenty has been said about Magoulias and he showed what he’s capable of with his performances in the 2019 finals series.
Any club would value a ball-playing middle who boasts power and a natural ball-playing ability, and he has exactly that.
He earned some first-grade experience last yaer and I have little doubt that he will become a key figure in the Sharks top 17 and will be the ideal replacement for retired stalwart Paul Gallen.
I really enjoyed watching Koloamatangi last season and thought he brought plenty of energy to the team and I’m sure Wayne Bennett is a fan of him as well.
He works incredibly hard defensively and gets through plenty of work and looking from the outside in, it seems as though players enjoying playing alongside him.
The Rabbitohs boast plenty of promising young forwards and Koloamatangi is certainly one of them, so don’t be surprised if he forces his way into the top 17 sooner rather than later.
Much has been made of Latrell Mitchell’s departure from the Roosters and although he will prove to be a massive loss for the back-to-back premiers, you can have plenty of faith in young gun Billy Smith.
What I enjoy about his game is his attention to detail and the emphasis he places on the finer details of the game, and seems to be a perfect fit on the left-edge. He’s also a prolific try-scorer and can create something out of nothing.
He seems to be firmly in the running to take over Mitchell’s no.3 jumper and there has been plenty of talk surrounding Smith over the pre-season so I’m excited to see what he can bring to the Chooks in 2020.
I thought Sailor was outstanding in his debut game and think he has shown enough in the NRL, and also in the Canterbury Cup NSW, to suggest he can fill the void at fullback for the Dragons.
I know Zac Lomax will get first crack at the no.1 jersey so Sailor should be next in line – he offers a bit of versatility in the outside backs but what stands out for me is how his potent running game is matched with a great ball-playing ability as-well.
The sky is the limit for Sailor and he boasts plenty of potential and I think he is a must for the Dragons as they look to bounce back from a poor season in 2019.