They are the hired guns of their generation. Giants amongst men better known for their intimidating physiques than their skill or finesse. Feared by their opponents, these guys are the real deal. There are two rules when it comes to these hitmen. Don’t run at them and stay the hell out of their way!
10: MOSE MASOE Club/Postion: Sydney Roosters/Prop Height: 6 ft 4 in Weight: 118 kg
Mose Masoe is such a sledgehammer that he was once nominated as selection A, selection B and selection C in Channel 9’s Brute Big Hits. Look it up if you don’t believe me. At only 23 years old, this giant is only going to get bigger which is a scary thought.
9: DAVID HALA Club/Position: Brisbane Broncos/Prop Height: 6 ft 2 in Weight: 113 kg
David Hala is the strongest player in the history of the Brisbane Broncos when he bench pressed 187 kilograms, surpassing Brad Thorn’s 175 kilograms. It comes as no surprise than that Hala has quickly become a cult hero at Suncorp Stadium for his devastating charges at the line.
8: FRANK PRITCHARD Club/Position: Canterbury Bulldogs/Second Row Height: 6 ft 2 in Weight: 110 kg
When Frank Pritchard is on, there is no stopping the backrower. Pritchard cuts an intimidating figure on the edge of the ruck and has given many a defender nightmares pre and post game. He is a deadly attacking weapon when motivated and angry.
7: TOM LEAROYD-LAHRS Club/Position: Canberra Raiders/Prop-Second Row Height: 6 ft 4 in Weight: 116 kg
Veteran forward Luke Bailey once said “Learoyd-Lahrs is about 600 kilograms”. This Canberra giant has found his best form in the last few years with some unstoppable performances in the Raiders engine room. With a number of injuries behind him, expect a gargantuan season from the Tamworth native.
6: FUI FUI MOI MOI Club/Position: Parramatta Eels/Prop Height: 6 ft 0 in Weight: 11 kg
His two nicknames say it all. ‘Car Crash’ and ‘Steam Train’. The wrecking ball from Parramatta has made a career out of hurting would-be defenders. His kick-off returns have become a thing of legend and at one point had Tonga, New Zealand and Australia all fighting for his services.
5: JARED WAEREA-HARGREAVES Club/Position: Sydney Roosters/Prop-Second Row Height: 6 ft 3 in Weight: 110 kg
The Kiwi International made his intentions for 2012 known early in the All Stars match against the Indigenous. With the ball or without, players keep an out for the Roosters forward. He is a dangerous man and will only get better with age.
4: MANU VATUVEI Club/Position: New Zealand Warriors/Wing Height: 6 ft 3 in Weight: 112 kg
‘The Beast’ has become one of the premier wingers in the game with his barnstorming runs for the Warriors. Vatuvei’s sheer size and speed even had the NFL’s New York Giants interested a few years back. Big Manu may have some trouble holding onto the ball, but when he is firing, there is no scarier sight in full flight.
3: DAVE TAYLOR Club/Position: South Sydney Rabbitohs/Second Row Height: 6 ft 2 in Weight: 125 kg
‘Coal Train’ is becoming the angry giant we’ve always wanted to see. Taylor’s huge frame and turn of pace puts the fear of god into opponents every time he gets the ball. There is no stopping the Queenslander close to the line and his ball play and bulk have setup many a try. If fit and healthy, Taylor will be a man in high demand on the open market for many years to come.
2: TONY WILLIAMS Club/Position: Manly Sea Eagles/Second Row Height: 6 ft 4 Weight: 115 kg
They don’t call this guy ‘T-Rex’ for nothing. The Eagles backrower has become an irresistible force at Brookvale and was a serious player in Manly’s charge to the premiership last year. The next challenge for Williams is forcing his way into the New South Wales Blues team and taking on the Maroons.
1: SAM BURGESS Club/Position: South Sydney Rabbitohs/Second Row Height: 6 ft 5 in Weight: 114 kg
Don’t let his absence in 2011 fool you. Sam Burgess is the all-round talent every team needs. The Englishman can hurt you with or without the ball and his shoulder charges have already become a thing of legend in the NRL. The Rabbitoh will be breathing fire in 2012 after injury sidelined him last season. Beware!
This article was originally posted on FootySocial.com.au and TheRoar.com.au