Roosters stars dominate World XIII

Sydney Roosters players have been recognised for their premiership-winning feats, with six members of the team selected in a World XIII.

Roosters captain Boyd Cordner, halfback Cooper Cronk, fullback James Tedesco, five-eighth Luke Keary and centres Latrell Mitchell and Joseph Manu were chosen as the best players in their positions for the 2018 season.

The World XIII was chosen by 11 journalists, who selected their top five players in each position. Five points is given to their top pick, all the way down to one point for their fifth choice. A 12th vote was taken from fans through the TotalRL.com website.

Cordner, Tedesco, Mitchell and Keary were among seven Australian players in the World XIII, including Cronk, who retired from representative football after last December’s World Cup triumph, while Manu was the lone New Zealander.

The other Australian representatives were South Sydney hooker Damien Cook and Cronulla star Valentine Holmes, who gained a release from the club last month for a shot at earning an NFL contract.

The World XIII also features three Englishman, including Golden Boot winner Tommy Makinson, and Tonga forwards Jason Taumalolo, of North Queensland, and Cronulla's Andrew Fifita.

England winger Tommy Makinson.
England winger Tommy Makinson. ©Bernard Platt/NRL Photos

Besides Makinson, the only other player from outside the NRL is his St Helens teammate Luke Thompson, with Canberra second-rower Elliott Whitehead being the third Englishman.

Thompson was voted the best prop in the world, ahead of Fifita, his Tonga front-row partner Siosiua Taukeiaho of Sydney Roosters, England and St George Illawarra veteran James Graham and Melbourne's former Kiwis captain Jesse Bromwich.

The Englishman was also considered among the game's top locks, being ranked equal fifth with Warriors and Kiwi veteran Adam Blair, who was behind Taumalolo, South Sydney's England star Sam Burgess, Manly international Jake Trbojevic and England captain Sean O'Loughlin.  

Tedesco beat out Warriors captain and 2018 Dally M Medal winner Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Penrith and New Zealand's Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Storm star Billy Slater and Newcastle young gun Kalyn Ponga for the fullback spot.

Besides Makinson and Holmes, the other wing contenders were Melbourne's Josh Addo-Carr, Warriors and Tonga winger David Fusitu'a - the NRL's leading tryscorer - and Parramatta recruit Blake Ferguson, another member of the Roosters' premiership-winning team.

The leading centre contenders behind Mitchell and Manu were Wests Tigers and Newcastle star Esan Marsters, Canberra's Joey Leilua - the sole Samoa representative - and Englishman Mark Percival.

Keary, the Clive Churchill Medallist in the NRL grand final, beat Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster, St George Illawarra captain Gareth Widdop, departed Warriors star Shaun Johnson and Penrith's James Maloney.

Roosters pivot Luke Keary.
Roosters pivot Luke Keary. ©NRL Photos

Cronk, who helped the Roosters to grand final success with a broken shoulder blade, edged out Brisbane and Kiwis playmaker Kodi Nikorima, Manly and Australia's Daly Cherry-Evans, Penrith's Nathan Cleary and Cowboys superstar Johnathan Thurston for the halfback role.

Roosters, NSW and Kangaroos captain Boyd Cordner was voted the best second-rower ahead of Whitehead, his Canberra-bound England teammate John Bateman, Dragons powerhouse Tyson Frizell and Broncos emerging star Tevita Pangai Jnr, who has opted to make himself available for NSW over Tonga next season.  

Cook was the top hooker after a breakout year for the Rabbitohs, Blues and Kangaroos, with former Kangaroos captain Cameron Smith and English pair, James Roby and Josh Hodgson of Canberra, ahead of Warriors and New Zealand veteran Issac Luke. 

2018 World XIII

  1. James Tedesco (Australia)
  2. Tommy Makinson (England)
  3. Latrell Mitchell (Australia)
  4. Joseph Manu (New Zealand)
  5. Valentine Holmes (Australia)
  6. Luke Keary (Australia)
  7. Cooper Cronk (Australia)
  8. Luke Thompson (England)
  9. Damien Cook (Australia)
  10. Andrew Fifita (Tonga)
  11. Boyd Cordner (Australia)
  12. Elliott Whitehead (England)
  13. Jason Taumalolo (Tonga)

World ratings

Fullbacks

  1. James Tedesco
  2. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
  3. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
  4. Billy Slater
  5. Kalyn Ponga

Wingers

  1. Tommy Makinson
  2. Valentine Holmes
  3. Josh Addo-Carr
  4. David Fusitu’a
  5. Blake Ferguson

Centres

  1. Latrell Mitchell
  2. Joseph Manu
  3. Esan Marsters
  4. Joey Leilua
  5. Mark Percival

Five-eighths

  1. Luke Keary
  2. Cameron Munster
  3. Gareth Widdop
  4. Shaun Johnson
  5. James Maloney 

Halfbacks

  1. Cooper Cronk
  2. Kodi Nikorima
  3. Daly Cherry-Evans
  4. Nathan Cleary
  5. Johnathan Thurston 

Props

  1. Luke Thompson
  2. Andrew Fifita
  3. Siosiua Taukeiaho
  4. James Graham = Jesse Bromwich 

Hookers

  1. Damien Cook
  2. James Roby
  3. Cameron Smith
  4. Josh Hodgson
  5. Issac Luke 

Second-rowers

  1. Boyd Cordner
  2. Elliott Whitehead
  3. John Bateman
  4. Tyson Frizell
  5. Tevita Pangai Jnr 

Locks

  1. Jason Taumalolo
  2. Sam Burgess
  3. Jake Trbojevic
  4. Sean O’Loughlin
  5. Adam Blair = Luke Thompson

The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.