NRL Players to Watch 2017

2017 NRL Players To Watch

Here we delve into the Rugby League players to watch in the 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership. What stars of the game will lead their club through a big season? Who will live up to their playing potential?

Check out the NRL footy facts and stats on some of the returning champs of the game and stars of the future below, before viewing our full 2017 NRL Season Pricing markets.

  • James Tedesco – Wests Tigers
  • Nathan Cleary – Penrith Panthers
  • Kane Elgey – Gold Coast Titans
  • Darius Boyd – Brisbane Broncos
  • Kieran Foran – New Zealand Warriors
  • Valentine Holmes – Cronulla Sharks
  • Jesse Bromwich – Melbourne Storm
  • Kalyn Ponga – North Queensland Cowboys

James Tedesco

NRL Player odds at Ladbrokes

West Tigers NRL Player James Tedesco. Photo: The Daily Telegraph.

  • NRL Team: Wests Tigers
  • DOB: 08/01/1993
  • Height: 180cm
  • Weight: 93kg
  • Position/s: Fullback, Centre, Wing
  • Club Debut: Wests Tigers v Cronulla, Leichhardt Oval, Rd 1 (4/3/2012)

This Camden Rams junior was on fire in 2016 scoring 14 tries in 17 NRL matches – named the 2016 Daly M Fullback of the Year – and is set for even bigger things in 2017. Played one State of Origin game for the Blues, before things unravelled with a broken jaw (Round 23). Ready to atone for the short season upon his return and is the Wests Tigers’ equal sixth highest try scorer in history.

Nathan Cleary

Panthers NRL Player odds at Ladbrokes

Penrith Panthers Halfback Nathan Cleary. Photo: The Daily Telegraph.

  • NRL Team: Penrith Panthers
  • DOB: 14/11/1997
  • Height: 182cm
  • Weight: 88kg
  • Position/s: Halfback
  • Club Debut : Panthers v Storm, AAMI Park, 04-06-2016 (Rd 13)

Sydney-born youngster with potential to develop into a top NRL halfback. Son of former player and coach Ivan Cleary. It took him just 2 NRL games at club level to score his first try. Star factor was obvious early, awarded Man Of The Match in Round 15 of 2016 in just his third game. Debut season nerves gone now and with enthusiasm on his side, can be a key player in 2017.

Kane Elgey

NRL odds at Ladbrokes

Gold Coast Titans player Kane Elgey. Photo: NRL.

  • NRL Team: Gold Coast Titans
  • DOB: 14/01/1994
  • Height: 180cm
  • Weight: 87kg
  • Position/s: Halfback, Five-eighth
  • First Grade Debut: Rd 4 Titans v Sharks 2015

Queenslander Elgey grew up idolising the Brisbane Broncos and is now on the roster for younger brothers the Titans. Made his NRL debut in 2015 against the Sharks and is an exciting young halfback out to make an impact. That was evident during the 2015 season when he scored his opening two tries in a single game that year (Round 8). Didn’t see him in 2016 with a pre-season ACL injury ruling him out. It was a blow, happening in the first training session of the year, but the Titans had so much confidence in him they have him signed until 2018. Ready to return and kick off where he left off.

Darius Boyd

NRL betting at Ladbrokes

Darius Boyd will captain the Brisbane Broncos in 2017. Photo: NRL.

  • NRL Team: Brisbane Broncos
  • DOB: 17/07/1987
  • Height: 184cm
  • Weight: 94kg
  • Position/s: Fullback
  • First Grade Debut: Broncos V North Queensland Cowboys, Suncorp Stadium, 12/03/06 (Rd 1)

Boyd will be under the spotlight in the 2017 NRL Season as the Broncos’ new skipper. A talented player whose career has had ups-and-downs due to personal reasons, but 2016 saw him at his best again. With Brisbane from 2006-08 – including the club’s 2006 NRL Grand Final win – before stints with the Knights (including the 2010 NRL Grand Final win) and Dragons. Returned in 2015 and seems at his best under the coaching of Wayne Bennet. Could 2017 be his final year as fullback with a possible Lockyer-like shift to No. 6 possible? Stay tuned.

Kieran Foran

Warriors NRL Odds at Ladbrokes

Kieran Foran is out to make an impact for his new club the Warriors in the 2017 NRL season. Photo: NRL.

  • NRL Team: New Zealand Warriors
  • DOB: 13/07/1990
  • Height: 180cm
  • Weight: 90kg
  • Position/s: Five-eighth / Halfback
  • First Grade Debut: Manly V Canberra, Brookvale Oval, 21/06/09 (Rd 15)

Foran will certainly be under the spotlight this NRL season as he steps out as the star new Warriors recruit. It took time, clearance, contract and personal issues before he could play for NZ after he left the Eels, who he only joined in 2016 after his lengthy stint with Manly. It was with the Sea Eagles that he enjoyed an NRL Grand Final win, ironically over the Warriors. Finally made his debut for NZ in Rnd 5 and it was a cracker getting himself 3 early Dally M points during their win over the Titans. Can he keep it together, continue that form and show the Eels exactly what they’re missing? Time will tell.

Valentine Holmes

NRL odds on the Cronulla Sharks at Ladbrokes

Valentine Holmes is a star young NRL Player for the Cronulla Sharks. Photo: The Daily Telegraph.

  • NRL Team: Cronulla Sharks
  • DOB: 24/07/1995
  • Height: 185cm
  • Weight: 87kg
  • Position/s: Fullback / Wing
  • First Grade Debut: Sharks V Knights, Remondis Stadium, 2014 (Rd 15)

Young Valentine Holmes was a try-scoring superstar for the Sharks in the 2016 NRL season equalling David Peachey’s record and he is tipped for similar greatness in the four-pointer department this year. He was in Mal Meninga’s Kangaroos 4 Nations squad just two years after his first grade debut and deservingly so. It was a rocky start when he was injured during the season opener against the Broncos, but the strain wasn’t as serious as first thought and he’s fighting to regain his eye-catching form. Hopefully he can because when he’s on it is exciting stuff for Sharks’ and footy fans alike.

Jesse Bromwich

Storm NRL odds at Ladbrokes

Jesse Bromwich is a key player in the 2017 Melbourne Storm NRL team. Photo: AAP.

  • NRL Team: Melbourne Storm
  • DOB: 3/05/1989
  • Height: 194cm
  • Weight: 114kg
  • Position/s: Prop
  • First Grade Debut: Storm V Sharks, Toyota Stadium, 13/3/2010 (Rd 1)

Hulking Storm prop Bromwich is 114kg and 194cm making him a huge unit capable of plenty of damage to opposing sides. Possibly the game’s greatest prop, his hits are hard and his attitude and hard work on the field are second to none. He is harder to get off the field than Cowboys’ skipper JT having missed just one NRL game since 2012. Storm Player of the Year in 2016 (3rd straight year) and Dally M Prop of the Year, titles he’ll be working hard to live up to again in 2017. He is king of the offloads and runs plenty of metres up in the front row too, the Kiwi rep player not looking to slow down any time soon.

Kalyn Ponga

NRL odds 2017 at Ladbrokes

Exciting young NRL Cowboys player Kalyn Ponga. Photo: Fox Sports.

  • NRL Team: North Queensland
  • DOB: 30/03/1998
  • Height: 184cm
  • Weight: 90kg
  • Position/s: Fullback / Wing
  • First Grade Debut: Cowboys V Broncos, 16/9/2016 (Finals Series)

This up-and-comer is not even 20-years-old (still eligible for the under-20s), but he’s making a sizzling impact to the Cowboys squad. Thrown straight into the deep-end playing against the Broncos in the 2016 NRL Finals Series. Dubbed a “teenage sensation”, Ponga is already showing he could soon be seen in the team’s No. 1 jersey and event Lachlan Coote has admitted he feels threatened by the young star. Round 4 in 2017 saw Ponga get his first four-pointer of the season with more to follow. It’s a shame for NQ that the Knights have scored him next season offering up the big dollars.