Every Super League club’s best player in 2023

THE 2023 regular Super League season is coming to an end with the play-offs set to take place in over a fortnight’s time.

During the 25 rounds of Super League that we have enjoyed so far, there has been incredible skill, physicality and wow moments on show from a whole range of players.

Here is every Super League club’s best player in 2023.

Castleford Tigers – Joe Westerman

There could only really be one man for Castleford – Joe Westerman. Though his off-field antics made him miss Castleford’s first game of the season, the loose-forward has been an ever-present since, providing the perfect link between the Tigers’ forwards and backs with his superb skill set. Running his blood to water, Westerman has enjoyed one of his best seasons to date – and in a struggling Castleford side that is even more impressive.

Catalans Dragons – Adam Keighran

Signed ahead of the 2023 season from Sydney Roosters, Adam Keighran has become one of Catalans’ greatest ever Super League signings. The success of the Australian centre has been such that Wigan Warriors have swooped for him for 2024 and beyond. With a wicked goal-kicking ability and an all-round classy game, Keighran has arguably been the Dragons’ stand-out in a wonderful season so far.

Huddersfield Giants – Chris McQueen

In what has been a disappointing season for Huddersfield, veteran Chris McQueen has retained the consistency that saw him earn six Queensland caps back in the NRL. Despite being 36 years of age, the second-rower has wound back the years in 2023, providing a brilliant attacking outlet out wide as well as hard-hitting defence to shut down opposition attacks. Yet to decide what he is doing in 2024, McQueen will leave a lasting legacy at the Giants.

Hull FC – Jake Clifford

It’s fairly obvious who has been Hull FC’s best player in 2023 with Jake Clifford running the show throughout in what has been a disappointing year for the Black and Whites. Clifford’s absence at times during the season has been clear, with Hull struggling to build any kind of pressure or maintain a dominant kicking game without the halfback in the side. The Australian will be sorely missed in East Yorkshire next season.

Hull KR – Elliot Minchella

It’s difficult to pick Hull KR’s best player of 2023 because there have been some brilliant displays across the board, not least from Mikey Lewis, Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Matt Parcell. However, loose-forward Elliot Minchella takes the accolade with the ex-Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls man enhancing his reputation in the middle of the field with a strong carry game as well as an ever-burgeoning leadership role.

Leeds Rhinos – Cameron Smith

In what has been a dreadful season for Leeds, finishing outside the play-offs after making it to Old Trafford in 2022, there has been one main man in 2023 – Cameron Smith. The loose-forward is a threat in every game he plays, with his skill set belying his sizeable frame, and he has become the man that the Rhinos have relied on to make something happen out of nothing. Smith’s leadership capabilities have also come on leaps and bounds in recent seasons.

Leigh Leopards – John Asiata

This could quite easily have been given to Lachlan Lam given his impact on Leigh throughout 2023. However, John Asiata has been the man that the Leopards have turned towards in both defence and attack, with the loose-forward being the linchpin for launching Leigh’s assaults on the opposition line. As captain, Asiata leads from the front and has been an incredible signing for the Lancashire club.

Salford Red Devils – Ryan Brierley

It’s a toss up between Ryan Brierley and Brodie Croft here but the former just wins it. Not only has Brierley been devastating with ball in hand, helping Salford score some wonderful tries over the year, but the Scotland international has also been magnificent in defence, helping to stop numerous tries with last-ditch tackles. With a strong relationship with Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley, Brierley has thrived at the club.

St Helens – Jack Welsby

Again, a number of St Helens could have been in the picture here, including James Roby, Jonny Lomax and Sione Mata’utia. However, Jack Welsby is arguably the man that the Merseyside club looks towards to create the flair that Saints have been renowned for over the years. Comfortable under the high ball, superb in defence and an increasingly authoritative figure despite being just 22, Welsby will be a St Helens legend in years to come.

Wakefield Trinity – David Fifita

Though he has played just a handful of games for Wakefield in 2023, David Fifita’s return to Trinity midway through the year provided the catalyst for an upturn in form that saw the West Yorkshire side win three of four games. That brought Trinity level on points with local rivals Castleford in the table, with Fifita’s leadership and experience helping to inspire the Wakefield players to a short-term revival.

Warrington Wolves – Paul Vaughan

Though George Williams was a very close shout here, Paul Vaughan has been brilliant for Warrington in his first season at the Cheshire club. Consistently delivering over 100 metres per game and devastating opposition defences with some huge carries, the ex-Australia international has made quite the impact at the Wolves. Never one to take a backwards step, Vaughan has, at times, single-handedly led the Warrington pack forward.

Wigan Warriors – Bevan French

Jai Field and Harry Smith also came close here, but Bevan French pips the pair to the post for Wigan. Electric with ball in hand, French has been deployed in the halves for most of the 2023 season by head coach Matt Peet with Field occupying the fullback spot. However, that hasn’t hampered French’s threat with the Australian livewire punishing opposition defences on numerous occasions with his agility and speed.

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