Many expected Niall Evalds to be Salford’s main man at the back, but when Robert Lui and Michael Dobson have been fit in the halves, O’Brien has impressed at fullback in 2016. He has two tries, eight assists and over 800 metres to his name already – and he has caught the eye in a somewhat unfamiliar position.
Like O’Brien, Gigot is in at fullback instead of another many expected to be in front of him – Morgan Escare. Gigot has been as crucial in attack for Catalans as he has been in defence – summed up by the superb tackle which denied Hull KR forward James Greenwood a certain try in last week’s game at the KC Lightstream Stadium.
The electrifying pace of Shaul is one of the main reasons Hull have been so impressive in recent weeks, with the fullback playing a key role in their superb form of late. With eight tries and over 1300 metres, it is no surprise those at Hull FC are waxing lyrical about the fullback and his undoubted potential.
Widnes fans will have been mightily relieved recently when the news emerged that Hanbury had penned a new deal with the Vikings. He plays a key role in Widnes’ success, with his form at the start of the year simply sensational. Alongside Kevin Brown and Lloyd White, he is one of the Vikings’ key men.
Is Russell perhaps the standout fullback of the competition so far? We think he may just be. His form has prevented other big names from getting a regular role in the Warrington team, with his defensive work matched by his telling contributions in attack. Russell is inside the top 10 metre-makers in the competition already, and he is having a superb 2016 thus far.
Is there anyone we’ve missed? Or who would you rank as the top fullback of 2016 so far? Let us know on Twitter – we’re @LeagueExpress or @RLWorld.