7 players who could make a big impression at the World Cup

The 16th World Cup will feature a wealth of talent, with virtually all of football’s most exciting players on display.

Here the PA news agency picks seven of the best players to watch.

Luke Keary (Ireland)

Sydney Roosters half-back Keary won the 2014 NRL Grand Final with South Sydney before leaving the club after a clash with co-owner Russell Crowe and taking his game to new heights after joining the Roosters. There he won back-to-back Grand Finals and was a 2018 Clive Churchill Medal winner. Born in Ipswich, Queensland, he was capped by Australia against New Zealand and Tonga in 2018 but had a long association with Ireland through his father and would have played for them in the 2017 tournament but through injury.

Jarome Luai (Samoa)

The 24-year-old Penrith half-back has become one of the biggest stars in the NRL over the past two seasons, helping the Panthers to back-to-back Grand Final victories earlier this month. He stood in line to be picked for the Kangaroos by Mal Meninga before making his preference clear. Born in Sydney to a proud Samoan family, Luai played for the Pacific Islanders at the 2017 World Cup before making his NRL debut. The playmaker has five caps for Samoa and was at the Nines World Cup in 2019.

Herbie Farnworth (England)

Lancashire-born Farnworth was a useful footballer in his youth after earning a place in Manchester United’s academy, but caught the rugby league bug while playing for Wigan St Patricks and aged 17 years ago he decided to try his luck in Australia. Farnworth started with the Brisbane Broncos Holden Cup team in 2017, graduated to the Queensland Cup with Norths Devils and made his NRL debut against Cronulla in 2019. His career really took off on the Broncos team in the last two seasons in which he was one of the top picks.

Alex Johnston (Papua New Guinea)

The 27-year-old full-back or winger from South Sydney has enjoyed a successful season in the NRL in which he scored 30 tries, 10 more than his closest rival, to cement his spot in the top 10 list of tries-scorers of all time in Australian rugby league. Johnston played for Australia against the Kiwis in the 2015 ANZAC Test, but injury ruled him out of the 2017 World Cup. He won representative honors with the Indigenous All Stars and the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII and was a full-back in the Kumuls’ 24-14 win over Fiji in June.

Joseph Manu (New Zealand)

Hamilton-born Joseph Manu, 26, is a two-time NRL Premiership winner with the Sydney Roosters and is at the peak of his career. Manu is a proven try scorer with 51 touchdowns in 137 appearances for his club. He’s an immensely strong center with silky ball-handling skills but put in a stellar performance at full-back against Tonga in June and coach Michael Maguire has confirmed he will be his first pick at the World Cup.

Mitchell Moses (Lebanon)

A naturally talented goalscorer, Moses, 28, was born in Ryde, New South Wales but is of Lebanese descent and the nephew of former Balmain Tigers hooker Benny Elias. Formerly with the Wests Tigers, Moses played a key role in Parramatta’s resurgence, culminating in her appearance in the 2022 NRL Grand Final. He twice represented the XIII. of Australia’s Prime Minister, but was named vice-captain of Lebanon at the 2017 World Cup and named to the team of the tournament.

Viliame Kikau (Fiji)

The powerful second rower made his last appearance for Penrith in the NRL Grand Final where he helped the Panthers retain their title before joining the Canterbury Bulldogs for 2023. His greatest trait is his ability to get out of tackles, demonstrated by 45 offloads in 2022, the fifth most of any player in the NRL. Kikau has won 12 caps since coming on as a substitute against Papua New Guinea in 2015 and has scored eight tries, including a brace in Fiji’s biggest-ever win over Wales in Townsville during the 2017 World Cup.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/nrl-russell-crowe-australia-ireland-wigan-b2199966.html 7 players who could make a big impression at the World Cup

Fry Electronics Team

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