11 Feb 2021

Five half-backs to watch in 2021

We choose five half-backs who are set to shine in 2021.

Aidan Sezer (Huddersfield Giants) 

Aidan Sezer enjoyed a fine debut season in Betfred Super League for Huddersfield Giants. The Australian arrived with a fearsome reputation after guiding Canberra Raiders to the NRL Grand Final in 2019 and certainly lived up to all of the hype. His efforts helped him earn a nomination for the Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel award after a campaign in which he scored seven tries and provided 18 assists. As good as Sezer was in 2020, Giants fans will be excited at how much better he can get with Ian Watson now at the helm and an array of new signings joining him at the John Smith’s Stadium. I don’t think anyone would be surprised if Sezer leads Giants to a play-off spot come the end of the season.  

Josh Reynolds (Hull FC)

Having swapped Sydney for Hull, Josh Reynolds is tasked with helping Hull FC improve on their semi-final finish from last season. Reynolds amassed over 150 appearances in the NRL and brings a vast amount of experience to the Black & Whites backline. He should prove an excellent replacement for Albert Kelly. Hull FC fans will be keen to see how he links up with Marc Sneyd in the halves. Reynolds' capability running the ball and Sneyd's ability to control a game should make for a lethal combination. 

Jackson Hastings (Wigan Warriors)

The half-back situation at Wigan Warriors this season is going to be intriguing. Jackson Hastings and Tommy Leuluai are the men in possession after guiding the club to the Grand Final last season – ably assisted by impressive youngster Harry Smith. And don’t forget new signing Jai Field's preferred position is stand-off. But Hastings remains the main man after a superb first year in Cherry & White. The 2019 Man of Steel forged a brilliant partnership with Liam Farrell and Bevan French and will be desperate to finally get a Grand Final victory to his name after two heartbreaking defeats in a row.

Jonny Lomax (St Helens)

Jonny Lomax might be Super League's classiest player. His 21 assists last season were the most in the competition and helped him earn a spot in the 2020 Dream Team. You could argue that Lomax, once again, was overlooked when it came to Man of Steel. The 30-year-old always looks at ease on the rugby pitch. The flying finishes of Regan Grace and Tommy Makinson wouldn't be possible without the pinpoint accuracy of Lomax's passes. And like a fine wine, he seems to get better with age. 

Jake Trueman (Castleford Tigers)

Jake Trueman was building an exciting half-back partnership with Danny Richardson at the start of last season. Unfortunately, the 2018 Super League Young Player of the Year struggled with a back injury after the restart as Castleford Tigers’ campaign ended with a whimper. But Trueman is over the worst of his troubles and will form part of an explosive Tigers backline. The 21-year-old didn’t play a game on Great Britain’s tour to New Zealand in 2019, but he could be an outside shout to finally make his international debut later this year for England at the World Cup.