The 2017 rugby league season may be over, but thankfully for us, the internet never sleeps. Fortunately for NRL fans, most players embrace social media, giving fans a closer look into their lives off the field.
Gone are the days where you had to watch a post-game interview to hear from your favourite player. Want to tell them you loved that epic try? Tweet ’em. Curious to follow their Bali journey? Simply click on their Instagram story.
Here’s NRL.com’s 17-man squad of the best individual player accounts you need to follow in 2018.
1. Clint Gutherson
When it comes to engaging with fans, the Parramatta Eels fullback does it best. Whether he’s expressing his displeasure for season two of Stranger Things or posing in budgie smugglers while on holiday in Capri Gutherson radiates authenticity.
“I just love giving them a look into my life and what I get up to away from footy,” he told NRL.com.
2. Josh Mansour
Josh Mansour copped a bit of flak for choosing to play for his country of birth instead of Lebanon, the Penrith Panthers fan favourite was unfazed and still managed to have fun with both fan bases. Be it Daddy day care, or impersonating the latest meme, Mansour has become a cult NRL follow.
3. Konrad Hurrell
There’s a reason Konrad Hurrell has over 150,000 followers on Instagram. The Tongan international has cultivated the huge following simply by being himself. Known for his hilarious ways, Hurrell can always be counted on for a laugh, but it’s his raw emotion which is his most endearing attribute.
4. Jordan Kahu
If he’s not posting adorable photos of his two beautiful children, the Kiwi can be found taking charge of his own brand, sharing his own videos on his personal vlog.
5. Nathan Ross
Nobody tweets quite like Nathan Ross. Be it a thoughtful post about the metamorphosis of a caterpillar, or his proclamation on yoga (he loves it,) Ross offers a unique voice when it comes to being an athlete.
6. Corey Norman
If a picture paints a thousand words, then Corey Norman’s Instagram account is a never-ending novel. Be it vacation photos or kicking back after training, Norman is worth the follow.
7. Shaun Johnson
Even across the ditch, Shaun Johnson has one of the biggest social media followings in the NRL. With close to 300,000 loyal fans just on Instagram alone, Johnson isn’t afraid to speak candidly about a loss or strut the New Zealand catwalk.
8. Marty Taupau
Even across the other side of the world on his holiday, Marty Taupau didn’t hesitate to take time out of his own vacation to in Hawaii to pose for photos with a die-hard Manly fan. The Manly prop even created his own hashtag #kapow
9. Nathan Peats
When it comes to having an opinion, Nathan Peats is all too happy to share his thoughts on any issue. Strong willed, he champions players to have their own voice.
10. Darcy Lussick
Instagram Stories were made for Darcy Lussick. When it comes to getting stitched up, Lussick’s Manly teammates know all too well what it’s like to be on the receiving end of his pranks.
11. Joel Thompson
Joel Thompson has embraced social platforms, and loves to have a chat to fans.
“I’m a country boy, you grow up talking to everyone. I learnt from people like my Nan, she’d go over to the shop to buy couple things and it’d take forever after talking to everyone. I guess social media is another platform to have a chat especially with fans,” he told NRL.com.
12. Angus Crichton
When the 22-year-old powerhouse isn’t bolstering South Sydney’s attack, he’s either giving back to the local Redfern community or spreading the word in order to raise more awareness. While Crichton may not be indigenous, he’s made no secret that he’s proud of Australia’s heritage by continually sharing posts and photos that are close to his heart.
13. Sam Thaiday
You can’t have a social media list without Sam Thaiday. Whether he’s wearing his heart on his sleeve or mucking around with his kids, Thaiday’s massive personality now has a home 24/7 cementing him as one of the most entertaining follows.
14. Andrew Fifita
Andrew Fifita slowly became one of the best follows during the World Cup. Not one to shy away from having an opinion, or wear his heart on his sleeve, Fifita is all too happy to share it all with his fans.
15. Trent Merrin
The Penrith Panther loves a selfie! Trent Merrin took us down memory lane posing with a “Dinosaurs” toy which begs the question: How many more toys are in Merrin’s collection?
16. Nene McDonald
Who needs to travel the world when you have Nene McDonald doing it for you? A popular member of the Papua New Guinea squad, McDonald recently enjoyed some downtime in Dubai, naturally, he dressed accordingly.
17. Brad Takairangi
Brad Takairangi is forever reminding his fans where he comes from. The Kiwi International will take any opportunity he can get to represent New Zealand, but it’s his continual banter with his Eels teammates that gets him on this list.