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ParisSurtout

World's ten best full backs

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One of the frustrations as a Wigan fan is that a superb junior fullback has never played fullback at academy or first team level for the club; Stefan Marsh. Similarly, the best fullback display v Wigan in recent seasons was by Richard Owen and he rarely if ever gets to play FB even allowing for his injury.

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yeah but when ever have wellens or mathers picked the ball up from dummy half,side stepped a couple and gone 75 yard to score like tomkins did the other week....

a fullbacks primary objective,in international RL,should'nt be defence....

and for the record englands missing world class fullback.......is playing union for northampton

A Test standard Fullback should have rock solid defence and positional sense, the ability to return the ball in broken play and chime into the attack is the other half of his resume.

Show me a top full back that has bad defence? (don't say Slater, he has had some clangers but in general his try saving is better than nearly anyones.)

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When I see the list, it makes me realise the likes of Belcher, Jack, Ettinghausen, Hampson and Radlinski are superior to all of them.

Has the situation turned so greatly that the emphasis on fullback play is primarily about attack, with defence being a distant second?

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for me tompkins would be in the top 3 full backs in the world, i wouldnt say hes in the best 3 stand offs in the world. I'd play him there for England, regardless of who we have in the halves.

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

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Super league has no decent full backs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whos the current man of steel?!

Tomkns will never be an out and out fb. He couldnt tackle donald and he is an over the hill WINGER!

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yeah but when ever have wellens or mathers picked the ball up from dummy half,side stepped a couple and gone 75 yard to score like tomkins did the other week....

a fullbacks primary objective,in international RL,should'nt be defence....

and for the record englands missing world class fullback.......is playing union for northampton

Attack wise Tomkins is a superb fullback, but Donald simply ran over him to score, one on one tackleing and safe under a highball are pre requesites in my book. Would O'Conner be such a hero at Oldham if he was shakey at either even if his attack was still as good at it is? Tomkins is a top class halfback who is a good defender at in the line but based purely on his performance against Leeds doesn't yet have the full set of attributes to be a world class fullback, not to say he won't do in the future.

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Not seen Brett Carter play then eh, expand your horizons mate.

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Australia was not really renowned for brilliant full backs until Clive Churchill, "The Little Master," appeared in the 1950s. But he was out on his own with no competitor within Australia. Of his contemporaries only the Frenchman Puig Aubert could challenge Churchill's status.

Then came the 1960s, when the old boring standby, Keith Barnes (Balmain's brilliant goal kicker and solid defender, but hopeless attacker) got shunted aside by Les Johns, Graeme Langlands and Ken Thornett. The talent at full back in Australia was so rich that they moved the now Immortal Langlands to centre, so as to accommodate Thornett and Johns in the Kangaroo squads.

Australia has always had several top class attacking and defending fullbacks in their system. Russell Fairfax and Graham Eadie in the 1970s, Garry Jack and Gary Belcher in the 1980s, Gary Belcher, Dale Shearer, Andrew Ettingshausen, Tim Brasher, Robbie O'Davis, and Darren Lockyer in the 1990s, Darren Lockyer, Brett Hodgson, Anthony Minichiello and Matt Bowen in the first half of the 2000s.

I cannot recall any time since the 1950s when Great Britain had a full back who was in the same class as the best from Australia. But since 2005 it has been a glut of full back talent in Australia.

Today I think we can agree that Clint Greenshields and Brett Hodgson are the best attacking full backs in Super League. So I could have named at least twelve, perhaps fifteen Aussie full backs who were better than the best in England. There must be something wrong with the junior recruitment, the way the game is played, or the physical environment (weather and grounds), that keeps England from producing abundant great talent in this playing position.

Edited by ParisSurtout

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Tomkins is a top class halfback who is a good defender at in the line but based purely on his performance against Leeds doesn't yet have the full set of attributes to be a world class fullback, not to say he won't do in the future.

Tomkins has a lot to work on defence wise at full back as you point out, in his favour is getting to work with Radlinski day in day out, arguably the best British full back of the Super League era.

Would love to see him successfully achieve the switch freeing up a half back slot in the England team for some of the other potentially good halfs we have out there.

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Ten best full backs in the world, based on current form:

Billy Slater

Jarryd Hayne

Josh Dugan

Darius Boyd

Lachlan Coote

Matt Bowen

Anthony Minichiello

Preston Campbell

Lance Hohaia

Luke Patten

Paul Wellens would never be chosen over any of the above ten by any NRL club.

The only bright spots for England are the possible repositioning of Sam Tomkins (thereby weakening the halves) or else promotion of the Melbourne-trained Gareth Widdop.

Why are English full backs so unimpressive in attack?

It is a long historical oddity. Perhaps it is a result of the soggy grounds on which rugby league used to be played in winter. Australians had firmer grounds, which favoured agile and fleet footed runners. Yet after fourteen years of summer rugby league, England has been unable to produce a top quality attacking and defensive full back.

So the question still remains without a satisfactory answer.

The lack of classy full backs, along with the lack of classy attacking centres, is the main reason why England cannot beat Australia in a three match series or in a Tri Nations or a World Cup.

Why no French?

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Tomkins has a lot to work on defence wise at full back as you point out, in his favour is getting to work with Radlinski day in day out, arguably the best British full back of the Super League era.

Would love to see him successfully achieve the switch freeing up a half back slot in the England team for some of the other potentially good halfs we have out there.

Kris Radlinski was the best English full back of the Super League era. But that tells you something right there. Would anyone seriously put Radlinski in the same class as his Australian contemporaries -- young Darren Lockyer or Anthony Minichiello?

Edited by ParisSurtout

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Kris Radlinski was the best English full back of the Super League era. But that tells you something right there. Would anyone seriously put Radlinski in the same class as his Australian contemporaries -- young Darren Lockyer or Anthony Minichiello?

Not sure I'd be so categoric I am sure Saints fans will be along to tell you that Wellans in his pomp was as good as if not better.

Plus I am biast, having watched Radlinski from the Alliance through to GB.

Can't comment on your Aussie fullbacks, NRL bores me rigid and as GB we've never really tested them, so defensively they could be down there with Tomkins and most of us Brits wouldn't have noticed!

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Not sure I'd be so categoric I am sure Saints fans will be along to tell you that Wellans in his pomp was as good as if not better.

Plus I am biast, having watched Radlinski from the Alliance through to GB.

Can't comment on your Aussie fullbacks, NRL bores me rigid and as GB we've never really tested them, so defensively they could be down there with Tomkins and most of us Brits wouldn't have noticed!

I don't know which games of the NRL you have been watching, but any games that involve Sydney Roosters, the West Tigers and Canberra Raiders in recent weeks have been anything but boring. Last Saturday's West Tigers vs Sydney Roosters was an epic for the ages.

Try watching Canberra vs West Tigers on Friday morning (Josh Dugan vs Wade McKinnon) and Sydney Roosters vs Penrith Panthers Saturday morning (Lachlan Coote vs Anthony Minichiello) and then you will be better informed (and hardly likely to be bored).

Edited by ParisSurtout

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I don't know which games of the NRL you have been watching, but any games that involve Sydney Roosters, the West Tigers and Canberra Raiders in recent weeks have been anything but boring. Last Saturday's West Tigers vs Sydney Roosters was an epic for the ages.

Try watching Canberra vs West Tigers on Friday morning (Josh Dugan vs Wade McKinnon) and Sydney Roosters vs Penrith Panthers Saturday morning (Lachlan Coote vs Anthony Minichiello) and then you will be better informed (and hardly likely to be bored).

I've watched plenty, they really just don't do it for me, probably more a lack of interest in who wins rather than a reflection on the quality of the product, give me a Super League, Championship of NCL game any day of the week.

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I cannot recall any time since the 1950s when Great Britain had a full back who was in the same class as the best from Australia.

Paul Charlton

Joe Lydon

Jonathan Davies

As good as, if not better, than any of their Australian counterparts.

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There seems to be a clique here that think they own the forums. ;)

You're absolutley right, the culprits can't stand anyone passing anything that might even mildly resemble a critque of the ESL. Unfortunately though, they thought it didn't show.

Its all because some people recognise that the Aussie NRL is a far superior competition and has more skilful, celebrated and renowned players than the ESL.

Me I couldn't possibly comment !!

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Paul Charlton

Joe Lydon

Jonathan Davies

As good as, if not better, than any of their Australian counterparts.

Lydon was not that special at Fullback, the fact he was on the Wing or the bench for half is representative career tells you that.

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You're absolutley right, the culprits can't stand anyone passing anything that might even mildly resemble a critque of the ESL. Unfortunately though, they thought it didn't show.

Its all because some people recognise that the Aussie NRL is a far superior competition and has more skilful, celebrated and renowned players than the ESL.

Me I couldn't possibly comment !!

Out of the closet again.

Another Kleenex fan of the Super Human NRL.

You suggested i was a "cyber" bully :lol::lol::lol: and now you jump on the back of someones comments getting involved.

NRL v's ESL in the main is about opinions........this forum is UK & European, if i wanted to discuss "SUPERMEN" i would go onto the NRL forum.

I just wish the MODS would tidy this up. :P

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I'm sure I have read before that there are not hugely greater player pools in Aus to over here, however, it always strikes me that they have far more players to choose from.

Assuming we accept that all the full backs PST listed are (classy!) world class full backs (which I think most of them are), there are more of them than there are British full backs to choose from at all in SL.

I started watching RL in about 1993-94 and I first noticed this when I looked at the two test team lines ups for Wembly in 1994 (GB v Aus). I remember thinking that, man for man, we were as good as them, but that for most positions we often didn't have a second or third equally good player, whereas the Aussies just did. This hasn't changed. The irony is not lost on me that we did win that one with JD's dart to the corner - I nearly wet my pants when he scored and I think I'm going to look it up on You Tube after this.

As for coaching styles, natural ability etc, I don't have a clue what we coach them here but the better Aussie full backs seem to me to run with a greater [vision/pace/freedom/fluidity?]. The closest in modern times to me is Sam Tomkins, who can beat one or three defenders at will and plays with his head up. Defence questionable yet though for an international. The first player to wow me like that was Brett Mullins, who just seemed to be able to rip holes everywhere. Steve Menzies used to do a similar thing and the two of them in the same team was very dangerous. Real strike players.

I agree with the first post that we don't have the abundance of class from full back, but I don't know why. I suspect coaching is a factor.

I'll also hop off the fence and say that the NRL is the superior competition, although I think that if you plonked 4 or 5 SL teams in the NRL they would learn to swim pretty quickly. Or perhaps drown a horrible gargling death.

The inequality between us and Aus makes victories all the sweeter, but they are too few and far between. My number one (sporting) wish is to see the Four Nations tournament very evenly contested each time and GB v Aus reinstated, with GB taking the spoils at least a third of the time. Scoring some great long range tries from full back.

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You're such a bore!

It is a long time since the age when we could pop over the border into Wales, and pick up a world star for full back. Too many to name and boring, but who can forget Lewis Jones? Also a major star in Australia although getting on in age at that time. Incidentally they were all reared on the mud in Wales, which makes a nonsense of dry grounds being good for stardom.

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So reading this.....

Next season Salford will have the best fullback in Super league :lol::lol:

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