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Who are the best centres in Rugby League these days? Here’s our top 10

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best centres nrl 2024

It’s a position that has seen some of the greatest to ever play the game of rugby league play in – think Meninga and Inglis. But in 2024, who is the king of NRL centres?

Rugby league games cannot be won without a decent forward pack or elite halves, but they are just part of the equation that makes teams competitive.

It’s critical to have a strong link between your halves and the flashy wingers — and that’s where centres enter the formula.

The best centres in the NRL are the ones who take the tough carries out of their own end, have the strength to break tackles and create options on either side of them, and of course, find a way to cross the chalk.

Now having already looked at our choices for the best 24 players for 2024, along with our top 10 in other positions, it’s time to turn our attention to the centre spot.

With season 2024 now our focus, what better way to get properly prepared for the action than with a top 10 list.

It’s a contentious topic that is bound to create plenty of debate in group chats and rugby league circles, because it’s become a position that has many requirements.

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best centres

But please understand we’re determined to build a more balanced and logical list than what you’ll find on the other click-hungry publications.

Our best centres in the NRL rankings consider 2023 form generously, plus what we’ve seen from them in the past, and a projectable climb-or-fall metric.

So here are the best centres in the NRL, according to our experts, as we all look towards the 2024 NRL season.

READ OUR OTHER TOP 10s: FULLBACKS, WINGERS, HALVES, HOOKERS, EDGE FWDS, MIDDLES

The 10 best centres in the NRL for 2024

1. Stephen Crichton

Coming in at number one on our best centres in the NRL rankings is former Panther, now turned Bulldog, Stephen Crichton.

The three-time premiership winner has been the standout big game player at NRL level over the past four years, scoring in each of the four Grand Finals he’s played in.

Not only is he a problem in attack with his try scoring ability and creative play, but he’s always the solution for his team in defence.

He’s expected to move to fullback in Belmore, but given it’s too early to see where he stacks up against the sport’s best 1s, we’re leaving him here for now.

2. Herbie Farnworth

Another superstar centre who’s been on the move lately is Herbie Farnworth, switching his maroon and gold Broncos jersey for the red and white of the Dolphins.

If we were solely going off 2023 form alone, Farnworth would be number one on our best centres in the NRL list with 15 tries, an average of 168 metres a game, 136 tackle breaks, and a centres-best 92.8% tackle efficiency.

The Broncos will definitely miss his presence on both ends of the game, and is yet another brilliant pick up by the Redcliffe based club.

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3. Campbell Graham

He may not have had the 2023 season many were expecting, but there’s no denying that Campbell Graham is one of the best centres in the NRL.

Although it wasn’t the ideal year, he lead the position in tries scored and once again showed off his defensive prowess with an 87% tackle efficiency.

Looking to right many wrongs, including getting Souths back into the top eight and himself back into the New South Wales squad, Graham is expected to have a big 2024.

4. Matthew Timoko

One of the more underrated players in the competition, Matt Timoko has been building into the representative player he is now with the Canberra Raiders.

Not only is he a try scoring machine, scoring 11 tries and setting up five in 2023, he is also one of the more reliable edge defenders with an 87.3% tackle efficiency.

Now that Timoko is making more consistent appearances for New Zealand, we can expect the big game experience to filter through to club-land.

5. Joseph Manu

He’s not your typical centre, floating all around the field and seemingly seen by Roosters’ coach Trent Robinson as a utility of sorts, Joey Manu is still among the NRL’s best centres.

Looking at his all-round stats for 2023, he ranked inside the top 10 amongst centres in only tackle breaks and tries — two very handy statistics.

With the Roosters once again shaping up to be premiership contender in 2024, without Manu it’s fair to say the side would struggle without their outside back strike weapon.

6. Izack Tago

No longer in the shadow of Stephen Crichton, Izack Tago is poised to be the go to centre for the three-time champs in 2024.

Although he may not have grabbed the media attention like Crichton has, Tago has been solid on the left edge for Penrith, scoring 10 tries, averaging 157 metres per game while having the third fewest missed tackles in defence.

7. Jesse Ramien

When you play with the aggression and determination that Jesse Ramien does, things are bound to look good on the stat sheet and for your team.

Ramien crossed over for 11 tries in 2023 while also being among the top 10 centres for metres averaged (140), tackles broken (80), tackle efficiency (89.4%), while missing 38 tackles across the whole season.

8. Bradman Best

It was a much needed breakout season for Bradman Best in 2023, not only playing a key role in Newcastle’s climb to the second week of the finals, but also finding his way into the New South Wales Origin team.

Best scored 13 tries for the Knights, set up 16 and proved to be extremely reliable on the defensive end with a tackle efficiency of 88.7%.

With Bradman only turning 23 in the 2024 season, it’s clear that the best of Best is still yet to come.

9. Valentine Holmes

Queensland and Australian representative Valentine Holmes comes in at number nine on our best centre rankings, coming off the back of a solid season with the Cowboys.

Holmes ranked in the top 10 across the tries, try assists, tackle breaks and fewest missed tackles, all while leading the centre position in averaged metres.

Although Holmes 2023 season could be categorised as a ‘fall’ in standards, there’s no denying he can turn it around in the blink of an eye.

10. Kotoni Staggs

With Farnworth, clearly the better centre at the Broncos, gone, a lot of pressure is going to be thrown Staggs’ way in 2024 — having taken up a large chunk of the salary which forced Farnworth out the door.

Staggs was top five in centres for tries and tackle breaks but as amongst the worst on the defensive end — and you don’t need statistics to know that, just watch Brisbane games.

However, Staggs’ powerful running game and unbelievable strength still makes him one of the more desirable centre going around.

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