Players' Poll crowns 'almost flawless' Frizell best edge forward
St George Illawarra prop James Graham describes the form of teammate Tyson Frizell this season as "almost flawless".
Frizell, who has been voted the best edge forward in the NRL.com Players' Poll, is one of the hardest players to tackle because of his strength and speed, and is also a brutal defender on the right edge for the Dragons.
He edged out Brisbane's Matt Gillett with Roosters captain Boyd Cordner and Warriors veteran Tohu Harris also polling strongly.
"He doesn’t miss an assignment and his running game - not just the lines he runs but some of those getting out of trouble runs - is absolutely outstanding, and invaluable to a team," Graham said.
"He has got that bit of pace about him as well, he hits a hole and as a defender coming up against that it’s not fun. I have obviously played against Tyson a few times and he is an absolute handful."
The 26-year-old has established himself as a regular member of the Australian and NSW teams, and was a key player in the Blues outfit which won the recent State of Origin series after being one of just six survivors from last year’s side.
Graham said Frizell’s ability to move from the edge to the middle during matches was another major asset in his game.
"Sometimes when players do that they dip but he goes up another gear, which is really impressive because I know first-hand how hard it is to play in the middle," Graham said.
"He comes on like another interchange forward and brings that spark after having already done the work out wide. For any coach at state, international and club level, that is huge."
In his sixth season with the Dragons, Frizell has matured into a leader and role model for teammates.
"I don’t know if he is aware that he is one of the best forwards in the game at the minute," Graham said. "He is very down to earth and he just wants to keep improving.
"The way he prepares is 10 out of 10 every week. It is probably a difficult task for our strength and conditioning staff to get him out of the gym, they have to hold him back
"I’ve seen him become a leader this year, and speaking to other people it is something they have noticed. He wants to bring the team together and bring people forward with him."
- NRL.com Players' Poll: Part 1 - Best coach, fullback, five-eighth, half, hooker
- NRL.com Players' Poll: Part 2 - Best player, winger, centre, forwards
The NRL.com Players' Poll is independent of the National Rugby League. The survey was undertaken by 117 NRL players across all 16 clubs. The survey questions and results have not been designed or endorsed by the NRL or the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA).