Josh Guzdek (Dewsbury Rams) – 34 appearances, 14 tries
Following his arrival from Hull Kingston Rovers at the start of the season, the young fullback enjoyed a superb maiden year with the Rams as he put a number of clubs to the sword.
At 21, Guzdek is one of the competition’s most promising talents, and if he has another year like he has done in 2016, Super League clubs will come calling.
Adam Higson (Leigh Centurions) – 30 appearances, 14 tries
Higson was one of the competition’s best wingers in 2015, but his game went up a notch again in 2016.
Although his try-scoring record wasn’t exceptional, his contribution to the team was nothing short of outstanding, making key contributions in both attack and defence.
Rhys Williams (London Broncos) – 32 appearances, 30 tries
The London utility back had a year to remember with the Broncos, ending the regular Championship season as the competition’s top try scorer.
Williams was outstanding throughout the campaign and will be eyeing an even better year in 2017.
Kris Welham (Bradford Bulls) – 30 appearances, 30 tries
The former Hull KR centre had the impact many expected at the Bulls in 2016, as he became one of the Championship’s top players.
Welham’s try-scoring record was impressive, but he assisted just as many tries for the likes of Ethan Ryan and Omari Caro. Keeping him at the club should be of top priority for the Bulls.
Misi Taulapapa (Featherstone Rovers) – 28 appearances, 16 tries
At the age of 34, many people believed that Featherstone had signed Taulapapa way past his prime.
However, the former Sheffield flier silenced all the doubters with an incredible season, helping them to a spot in the top four. As a result, he was nominated for Championship’s player of the year award alongside Micky Higham and Dom Brambani.
Martyn Ridyard (Leigh Centurions) – 25 appearances, 5 tries
Despite having a spell where he was in and out of the Leigh side, Ridyard produced when it mattered for his hometown club.
An outstanding campaign in the Qualifiers saw Ridyard be the standout star in the Centurions’ promotion campaign, which resulted in Garry Schofield tipping him for a spot in the England team if he maintains his performances in Super League next year!
Dom Brambani (Batley Bulldogs) – 33 appearances, 9 tries
Many suggested that Brambani’s arrival at Batley was massive for the club moving forward.
How they were proved to be correct. Alongside former Sheffield stars James Davey and Patch Walker, Brambani guided the club to an unexpected third-placed finish in the Championship, finishing above the likes of Bradford and Halifax.
Brambani’s efforts were recognised through his nomination for Championship player of the year.
James Brown (Batley Bulldogs) – 29 appearances, 11 tries
One of the Championship’s most underrated players, without a shadow of a doubt.
Batley’s pack has come in for praise this year, but the best player in the Bulldogs’ forwards has been Brown. A wrecking ball down the middle with deceptively good passing abilities, Brown has had more impact in tries than any other forward in the competition, scoring 11 himself.
Mickey Higham (Leigh Centurions) – 26 appearances, 7 tries
Everyone knew how important Mickey Higham would be for Leigh ahead of their chase for Super League, but he went above and beyond in helping them secure promotion.
At the age of 36, Higham is still performing at the top of his game. Selected as the Championship’s player of the year, it will be great to see the veteran hooker back in Super League next year.
Dayne Weston (Leigh Centurions) – 31 appearances, 6 tries
Leigh made several big name signings throughout the 2016 season, but the best addition was Dayne Weston.
The former Melbourne forward was an instant hit at LSV as he gave them added physicality down the middle, but also proved to be a calming influence on the team.
Adam Tangata (Halifax RLFC) – 32 appearances, 12 tries
It was a pretty poor year for Halifax in 2016, but they had one standout star throughout the campaign.
Tangata, a Cook Islands international, was absolutely outstanding from start to finish, terrorising defences all season with his huge carries. It’s little surprise to see the 25-year-0ld linked with a move to Super League, with Salford thought to be interested in signing him.
Daniel Harrison (London Broncos) – 30 appearances, 5 tries
Harrison isn’t the first name that is mentioned in discussions about London, but he has been outstanding for them in 2016.
Harrison has been reliable in every aspect and was rarely anything other than superb.
Cory Paterson (Leigh Centurions) – 21 appearances, 18 tries
One of several off-season signings from Salford, Paterson was always going to be a great player in the second-tier.
While that proved to be the case, the influence he had on the club in several aspects proved crucial, providing the club with leadership and experience that ultimately was key to their return to Super League.