How Good Is: Will Chambers
Firstly, a confession.
This writer happens to think that Will Chambers is the best player in Australia yet to play representative rugby league.
He has donned the maroon of Queensland in the 15-a-side game and was in camp with the Queensland Origin side for the 2013 series but Chambers is yet to be sighted amongst the game's best players on the representative stage.
That is almost certain to change in 2014.
With Justin Hodges not expected to play any part in the series due to his Achilles injury a spot has opened up in Mal Meninga's backline and given he was the man on standby this year, it appears Chambers is the next in line.
Only Billy Slater scored more tries for the Storm last year but rather than the 12 he scored himself, it is the way Chambers can act as provider that marks him as a player of rare talent.
Perhaps only Manly captain Jamie Lyon can rival Chambers' ability to get on the outside of his man with sheer speed and then entice the opposition winger to come in from his position before delivering a perfectly timed pass for his support.
The Storm got lucky when football manager Frank Ponissi stumbled across Chambers when he was playing rugby in Ireland, and earlier this year they re-signed him to a deal that keeps him in Melbourne until at least the end of the 2017 season.
How good is Will Chambers? Really good, and he's only going to get better.
Trademark Move: It's not as much of an in-and-away as a quick glance and he's gone. Such is the speed that Chambers is blessed with that as soon as he finds himself on the outside shoulder of the defender he is able to take off and get the winger interested in coming in. Despite his side eventually losing, Chambers twice ran rings around Titans opposites Steve Michaels and Kevin Gordon in their Round 15 clash. He first set Sisa Waqa on a run that led to the first of Ben Hampton's two tries with a deft right-hand flick pass on the right edge and then in the second half got around Michaels and twisted Gordon inside then out before passing inside for Hampton to add a second. There are few better in the competition at making indecisive defenders look silly.
Key Play of 2013: Sure he pulled his 'trademark move' to turn Bill Tupou and Konrad Hurrell into spinning tops and started and then finished an 80-metre effort that gave the Storm the lead 10 minutes from full-time of their Round 7 clash with the Warriors, but it was a desperate defensive effort when these two sides met again in Round 20 that displayed his true value.
With his team trailing 18-4 but deep in attack, the last thing he expected to see was the fleet-footed Shaun Johnson racing downfield making a beeline for the right-hand corner post. Kevin Locke had collected a grubber kick close to the line and released Johnson on an 80-metre run to the line, before Chambers swept in. Making extraordinary ground from the other side of the field, Chambers rounded Johnson up just centimetres short of the tryline and bundled him into touch. It was a piece of play just as valuable as any of the dozen dazzling tries he scored during the course of the season.