Last year, Jai Field was playing for the St George Illawarra Dragons Canterbury Cup NSW side and had a noteworthy season, so it is easy to see how he slotted into the Parramatta Eels starting side on the weekend and excelled.
Field made his NRL debut for the Dragons in 2017, and is comfortable at various positions in the backline, playing games at fullback, five-eighth, halfback and wing in 2019.
In 16 games for the Red-V, Field totalled 58 points, five tries, 1386 run metres from 164 runs, 15 try assists and 112 tackles – proving a key player in a Dragons side who went on to claim the minor premiership.
The 22-year-old played primarily in the five-eighth role but towards the back end of the season was playing at fullback, which is where he carried out some of his best work.
Against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Week One of the Finals, Field ran rampant at the back, notching a double, 234 run metres from 22 runs and eight tackle breaks.
The utility tried his hand at a Canterbury Cup NSW game for his new club in Round One this season and made his mark with a try, a try assist, five tackle breaks and 86 run metres.
In May, Field secured a development contract with the Eels and through the absence of Mitchell Moses he played halfback in the top grade against the North Queensland Cowboys in Round eight.
He certainly didn’t waste the opportunity given to him after scoring a try, making nine tackle breaks, 117 tackles and 118 run metres.
Proving he can withstand the pressure that comes with being a starting half in an NRL side, we will no doubt be seeing more of this young talent in the coming years.