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Experts view: The best back-three

In the history of the game, wingers and fullbacks have arguably never played a more important role than they do now.

Just take a look at the plethora of top-class players wearing the No.1 jersey across the NRL. From Tedesco to Trbojevic to Holmes, Tuivasa-Sheck, Gutherson and Papenhuyzen - they're in abundance.

Then there are the host of top-line wingers who are able to combine tough carries from inside their own 20m area with spectacular try-scoring displays.

The experts have their say on which combination is the best in the Telstra Premiership.

CNK: 'We got what we deserved'

Experts view

Jamie Soward (former Blues five-eighth)

Roosters. James Tedesco is the best fullback and player in the game. His awareness and positioning helps his wingers. Brett Morris is in career-best form. Daniel Tupou is the most underrated winger in recent times. He's a three-time premiership winner and one of the best finishers in the competition.

Paul Suttor ( editor)

The Warriors have not put the trio together on the field as yet this year but the combination of star fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck with David Fusitu'a and Ken Maumalo on the flanks can’t be beaten for speed, kick returns and finishing ability. Hopefully, Fusitu'a is back in action soon and Stephen Kearney ends the switch to centre experiment to put him back on the wing where he's at his best.

Knights v Storm - Round 5

Mary Konstantopoulos (Ladies Who League)

When it comes to backlines it's hard to go past the Sea Eagles. Tom Trbojevic is one of the best fullbacks in the game and he demonstrated last year just how crucial he was to the Sea Eagles success on the field. That attacking prowess matched with the speed of Rueben Garrick and the strength of Jorge Taufua is one of the reasons most people have Manly as premiership contenders.

Margie McDonald ( senior reporter)

Manly by a sea eagle feather from Storm. But since Tom Trbojevic has been in the No.1 jersey a little longer than Ryan Papenhuyzen, I am leaning towards the boys from the northern beaches. Wingers Jorge Taufua and Reuben Garrick bring a different degree of difficulty for opposition defenders than the pure speed of Suliasi Vunivalu and Josh Addo-Carr.

Kenny Scott ( podcaster)

As a collective, Parramatta's back three are the best in the competition. Assessing each player individually it might sound a bit mad - Clint Gutherson is arguably not even in the top five fullbacks in the game when you take into account James Tedesco, Tom Trbojevic, Roger Tuivasa Sheck, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Kalyn Ponga but when you throw in the winger combination of Maika Sivo and Blake Ferguson and you've got a trio that is best in show.

Chris Kennedy ( reporter)

The best back three in the NRL belongs to the Roosters, and it's not particularly close. James Tedesco is the best fullback and possibly the best player on the planet. Dan Tupou is a huge aerial threat and among the top few wingers in the competition every week. Meanwhile, the ageless Brett Morris remains sensational whether on the wing or filling in at the back and gives absolutely everything on every play.

It’s not too late to have the Best

Tanisha Stanton ( reporter)

It’s the Roosters for me. Tedesco speaks for himself, being the best fullback in the game at the moment and Daniel Tupou and Brett Morris are arguably two of the most reliable and consistent wingers. You rarely see these two making dreadful mistakes.

Martin Lenehan ( senior journalist)

Speed and size. Flair and finishing ability. The Storm are packing all that and more with Ryan Papenhuyzen, Suliasi Vunivalu and Josh Addo-Carr. The doomsayers predicted the Storm would run out of puff when Billy Slater retired but Papenhuyzen continues to evolve into an elite fullback and we've seen time and again what their destructive wingmen are capable of.

Bulldogs v Roosters - Round 5

Lone Scout (NRL Fantasy guru)

A shoutout to the Eels' blockbuster wing duo of Blake Ferguson and Maika Sivo and inspirational leader Clint Gutherson, but the best back three in the league belongs to the Roosters. Daniel Tupou is a freakish athlete whose aerial prowess is more valuable than ever, the evergreen Brett Morris is one of the all-time great wingers and James Tedesco is the best player in the game. And their back-up is 35-Test England veteran Ryan Hall.

Joel Gould ( reporter)

The Roosters back three ticks all the boxes. James Tedesco at fullback is the best player in the world today and a regular match-winner. Brett Morris proves time and again that if you want a footballer to play for your life then he is your man. Daniel Tupou is top shelf in the air, as he proved in the 2013 grand final, or bringing the ball back from kicks. He is often at his best for the big games.

Papenhuyzen to put rivalry ahead of mateship

Zac Bailey ( journalist)

The obvious pick is the Roosters. The game’s best player James Tedesco, working in partnership with the ever-reliable Brett Morris, and throw in Daniel Tupou – that’s got to be the NRL’s best back three. I also rate the back three combinations of the Eels, Raiders and Storm and love to watch the Warriors back three when they are fit and firing. 

Alicia Newton ( reporter)

The Roosters with James Tedesco at the back with Daniel Tupou and Brett Morris on the wings make it a difficult task for every team any week. Tedesco's skill is self-explanatory, Morris is getting better with age on the right edge with Tupou's consistent efforts in the air and kick returns among the best, if not the best, in the game.

Troy Whittaker ( reporter)

Parramatta. Hulking wingers Maika Sivo and Blake Ferguson are both metre-eaters and elite finishers, while fullback Clint Gutherson is a fantastic link between them and poses a threat with his energetic support play.

Brad Walter ( senior reporter)

The Sydney Roosters have the best back three, just ahead of Melbourne's Ryan Papenhuyzen, Josh Addo-Carr and Suliasu Vunivalu, and Parramatta's Clint Gutherson, Mika Sivo and Blake Ferguson. James Tedesco is arguably the best player in the world, Brett Morris is one of the best wingers of his generation and Daniel Tupou is one of the most difficult players to combat from crossfield kicks. 


The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARL Commission, NRL clubs or state association.

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