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Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.

Ask Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad if he considers himself one of the NRL's elite fullbacks and he'll laugh.

"No way, man," said the humble 25-year-old, who even now still checks the team sheet each week to make sure his name is there.

It's a testament to the outstanding group of custodians right now that Nicoll-Klokstad, a three-time New Zealand international, believes he's a rung or two below the best.

"The best fullbacks, I reckon, in the game right now were on show [last Friday] in Latrell [Mitchell and [Ryan] Papenhuyzen," he added.

Nicoll-Klokstad may have accidentally overlooked Tedesco, Tuivasa-Sheck and Clint Gutherson, players he has studied and learnt from.

So who is the Telstra Premiership's premier number one? Using Stats Perform data, has compared key 2021 statistics from arguably the top six fullbacks - Tedesco, Mitchell, Tuivasa-Sheck, Gutherson, Papenhuyzen and Nicoll-Klokstad.

Newcastle star Kalyn Ponga is preparing for his first match of the year after shoulder surgery, so he wasn't included. Neither was Manly's Tom Trbojevic, who hasn't played because of a hamstring issue.

Other players such as Gold Coast's AJ Brimson, Penrith's Dylan Edwards, Cronulla's Will Kennedy and St George Illawarra's Matt Dufty continue to improve but are still probably just adrift of the top tier.

The statistics in the graphic don't encapsulate all that a fullback does. Communication, organising a defensive line, positional and support play, defusing kicks and stopping tries are also important.

But these attack-focused figures give us some indication of the different strengths and skills of these terrific players.

Latrell leaps his way to a double

Mitchell averages the fewest metres (153) and runs (14) per game, but he more than makes up for that with his ball-playing vision having already racked up six try assists and nine line-break assists.

The Rabbitohs strike weapon scored a double, set up a try and assisted two line-breaks in Thursday night's 35-6 win over Brisbane.

Papenhuyzen missed one match with a neck injury but the Storm livewire has dominated to start the season. He averages the most metres (241) and runs (24) per game and has a broad skillset, scoring six tries as well as providing for others with three try assists.

Tedesco may be the most well-rounded of the bunch. The Rooster leads them for tries (7) but has also contributed four line-breaks, two line-break assists and averages 195 metres with the ball per outing.

And while Warriors captain Tuivasa-Sheck has only bagged one-pointer so far, he's been a model of consistency - averaging a huge 210 metres and 23 runs per game and contributing in most categories.

Gutherson's impact for the Eels can't be defined by numbers alone, but they still paint the picture of a hard-working yet skilful player.

Papenhuyzen's night out with four tries in 11 minutes

As for Nicoll-Klokstad, he is yet to register a try assist or line-break assist, but he's right with the best of them in terms of metres and involvement. And that's not including other aspects like defence.

He certainly has an elite attitude.

"I'm still working on my craft. There are a few things I'm trying to implement into my game," Nicoll-Klokstad said last week.

"I feel like I'm starting to fill into my shoes as an NRL player ... As long as I'm making micro-improvements each day I'm going to get to that big improvement at the end of the year."

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