2010 Nrl Best Players of All Time

John Rizzo

The 2010 NRL season was a thrilling one for the league and its fans, with plenty of twists and turns throughout. This year marked the 103rd season of professional rugby league football club competition in Australia, run by the National Rugby League (NRL). Sixteen teams competed in this exciting season which kicked off on 12 March, culminating with a spectacular Grand Final match at ANZ Stadium on 3 October. Fans were treated to some incredible moments as well as watching their favorite players battle it out all over the field.

Table of Contents

1. James Maloney

Penrith Panthers

James Maloney

James Maloney is a talented five-eighth and halfback who has played for the Melbourne Storm since 2007. He was born in Orange, New South Wales in 1986 and attended Sutherland High School before signing with the Melbourne Storm.

Maloney made his first grade debut for the Melbourne Storm in 2006 against Parramatta Eels and has since been a mainstay of their team, playing over 200 games for them. 

In 2013 he signed with English club St Helens RLC but returned to the Melbourne Storm at the end of that season.

James Maloney is one of Australia's most successful rugby league players having won two premierships (2007 and 2013) as well as a World Cup (2013). 

He currently plays for Sydney Roosters in the NRL competition James Maloney is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays for the Penrith Panthers in the National Rugby League (NRL).

He has also previously played for the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm. James was born on 8 July 1988, in Minto, New South Wales. At junior level, he played for the Airds Eagles before being signed by Brisbane Broncos with whom he won a premiership in 2006 at aged 18 years old.

 In 2007, he joined Super League side Wigan Warriors where he stayed until 2011 when he was traded to Melbourne Storm along with fellow Queensland State of Origin representative Greg Inglis in a blockbuster trade deal worth $10 million AUD each.

During his time with Melbourne Storm, James helped them win two NRL Premierships (2007 & 2012) as well as making 4 appearance for Australia national team including 2 test matches against New Zealand and 1 match against England during 2013 World Cup campaign.

Which Australia went on to win - sealing their first ever World Cup title. In 2016 James decided to return home and sign with Penrith Panthers after 12 seasons overseas where despite struggling through some tough times early into.

His tenure at Penrith Panther's - due largely Injury- plagued 2017 Season saw him recapture form late into the year culminating in winning player of the season award at season’s end.

7 . As of June 2021 James Maloney still holds club records for most tries (31), points scored (1008), field goals made (746) and most field goal attempts made(2247).

Also Played For: new zealand warriors

2. Jamie Soward

St. George Illawarra Dragons

Jamie Soward

Jamie Soward is a professional rugby league footballer who played for the Brisbane Broncos in the National Rugby League. He has also represented Australia at international level, playing in the 2006 and 2011 World Cups.

In 2013, he signed with French side Catalans Dragons on a three-year deal. After leaving Catalans Dragons at the end of 2017, Soward returned to Australian Rugby League club Sydney Roosters where he currently plays as a five-eighth and halfback for their feeder team Newtown Jets in the New South Wales Cup competition.

Jamie Soward was born on 13 November 1984 in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia to parents Lesley and Garry Soward Sr.

Jamie's younger brother Luke also became an NRL player after making his debut with Melbourne Storm during the 2007 season; however Luke retired from playing at the conclusion of 2016 season due to injury.

3. Matt Cooper

St. George Illawarra Dragons

Matt Cooper

Matt Cooper is a professional rugby league footballer who has represented Australia and the New South Wales Blues. He played his first match for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in 1998, before representing NSW from 2000 to 2002.

In 2003, he signed with English club Wigan Warriors where he spent six seasons before returning home to play for the Sydney Roosters in 2009. 

Cooper played at international level for Australia between 2001 and 2004, winning a World Cup medal in 2003 and captaining the side during their successful 2005 World Cup campaign which included a victory over England at Old Trafford Stadium.

He retired from representative football after playing in two Tests against New Zealand in 2013, ending his career with 111 caps and 10 tries scored.

At club level, Cooper won premierships with both Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (2001) and Wigan Warriors (2004). Matt currently coaches junior rugby league teams throughout NSW.

4. Jason Nightingale

St. George Illawarra Dragons

Jason Nightingale

Jason Nightingale is a professional Australian rules footballer who plays for the Essendon Football Club in the AFL. He was drafted by Essendon with their first selection, number 16 overall, at the 2007 National Draft and made his debut in round 1 of the 2009 season.

Jason has played 113 games for Essendon over 7 seasons, averaging 18 disposals and 3 goals per game. 

In 2013 he signed with Richmond FC as a free agent and spent 2 seasons there before returning to Essendon in 2015. At 26 years old Jason is one of the older players on Essendon's list and will be looking to play another 5-6 good seasons before hanging up his boots.

He was originally signed by the St George Illawarra Dragons in 2007 and spent six seasons with the club before joining the New Zealand Warriors in 2012. Nightingale played a total of 33 matches for New Zealand, scoring 19 tries along the way. 

He made his NRL debut for the Sydney Roosters in 2008 and has since been playing fullback for various teams around Australia including Cronulla Sharks, Melbourne Storm and Newcastle Knights.

Jason is internationally capped having represented New Zealand at both junior and senior levels over a period of eight years. In 2017 he announced his retirement from rugby league after 11 successful seasons as a professional player.

5. Ben Hornby

St. George Illawarra Dragons

Ben Hornby

Ben Hornby is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays for the Sydney Roosters in the National Rugby League. 

He has played at representative level for New South Wales and Australia, and at club level for Wigan Warriors (Heritage № 715), St Helens R.F.C., Hull F.C.(loan) (Heritage № 948), Salford City Reds, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats(two spells) and the Sydney Roosters(three spells).

Ben Hornby debuted with the Wigan Warriors against Leeds Rhinos on 3 September 2003, scoring a try in their 38-24 victory at Knowsley Road Stadium. 

He was awarded Man of Steel Award by the Sport Journalists Association of New South Wales after finishing as top Try scorer in Super League that season with 22 tries from 22 appearances including 4 finals matches.

In 2006 he joined Saints on loan where he helped them to win promotion to Super League before linking up again with Wigan in 2007 where he won his second championship medal playing alongside former Saint teammate Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

On 13 October 2008 it was announced that Hornby had signed a three-year deal with fellow NRL side Sydney Roosters starting from 2009.

Ben Hornby represented Australian national rugby league team at the international level debuting against France on 20 November 2005 scoring 2 tries in Australia's 36-20 victory at Parc des Princes Stadium, Paris. 

He scored his first international try 5 minutes into injury time during Australia’s 28-12 victory over Papua New Guinea on 17 July 2006 helping secure qualification for The World Cup which they went onto win held later that year hosted by England At The World Cup Ben finished.

Joint highest goal kicker alongside Johnathan Thurston (8 goals each) despite not starting any games as bench utility due to James Maloney being preferred 10th man ahead of him.

This led some commentators to label him "the fittest player never selected" or "the dark horse" going into The tournament After rebuilding his career following shoulder surgery prior to The World Cup, injuries during 2010.

Saw him miss most of pre-season training leading coach Brian Smith opting instead for new recruit Beau Scott but when Smith left midway through 2011 season Scott was dropped so Hornby could make a return off the bench against Penrith Panthers resulting in another premiership ring gaining revenge over former club mate Shaun.

6. Scott Anderson

Brisbane Broncos

Scott Anderson

Scott Anderson is a professional rugby league footballer who has played for the Melbourne Storm since 2009. Scott Anderson started his career with the Penrith Panthers in Australia before moving to England to play for Hull Kingston Rovers and then Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

In 2009, Scott Anderson signed with the Melbourne Storm and has remained with them ever since. He made his international debut for Australia in 2007 and has been a mainstay of their team ever since, playing at test level as well as on tour during the World Cup series in 2013 and 2017.

In 2018, he announced that he would be retiring from rugby league at the end of the season after 14 years playing professionally Scott Anderson began his professional rugby league career with the Melbourne Storm in 2007. He played for Brisbane Broncos from 2010 to 2013 and then joined Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in 2014.

Scott Anderson has won 2 Premiership's (with the Melbourne Storm in 2009, and Brisbane Broncos in 2015) and 3 Dally M Awards (2008-2010, 2012). In 2017 he signed a two year deal with Super League club Warrington Wolves where he is currently playing. 

Scott Anderson was born on 7th April 1987 in Townsville, Queensland Australia and is of Indigenous Australian descent through both his maternal grandmothers side and paternal grandfathers side.

Final Words

. . . . The 2010 NRL season was a thrilling one for the league and its fans, with plenty of twists and turns along the way. There were some great players displayed on both sides of the ball, but which player stood out above all others?.

. . . There are many contenders for this title, but in my opinion it is impossible to go past Cronulla’s superstar halfback Shane Flanagan. He led his side to their first premiership since 1994, amassing an incredible 335 points (162 goals, 199 assists) over 24 regular-season matches – a record that still stands today.

His brilliance was evident from start to finish and he proved himself as one of the best players in history by winning the Dally M medal as well as being named MVP of The Premiership final victory over Melbourne Storm.

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John Rizzo

I am a professional rugby player in the Washington DC-Baltimore area. I have been playing rugby for over 10 years and have had the opportunity to play in many different countries. I am also a coach for both youth and adult rugby teams. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Sports Management and Marketing. I am currently working on my MPA from American University and plan to pursue this career path after graduating next year. LinkedIn

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