The NRL’s competition committee has set its sights on creating a stronger and more diverse talent pool, with the NRL set to release its talent rankings at the end of this week.
The NRL is aiming to produce the first comprehensive talent rankings since the 2007 AFL premiership and the AFL-CIO AFL Talent Awards, which revealed the best in the game.
With more than 50,000 players and counting, the NRL’s talent rankings have a strong track record of showcasing NRL talent from the best to the average, with all 16 teams receiving the honour.
The NRL is set to announce its top 30 NRL clubs in January and the clubs have until March 31 to submit their top 20 picks for the inaugural season of the competition.
The first two teams will face off in the NRL grand final at Suncorp Stadium in March, with top teams from Queensland, South Australia, NSW and the ACT also on the agenda.
The rankings, to be published by TheScore on Wednesday, will be the first in the history of the AFL Players’ Association.
The AFL Players have long been a powerful force in the sport’s development and the rankings are a welcome addition to the AFL’s annual talent development program.
The AFL Players had a major impact on the game of football during the AFL era and it is no coincidence that the NRL will receive its first-ever AFL Players awards.
The talent rankings will be released by The Score and will include both average and best performers from each club in a separate, separate report that will be made available to the media.
The list of NRL clubs that will make their first AFL Players list will be announced at a later date.
While the AFL has been busy in the past year working on its top 100 list, it is clear that it is still missing a big name or two in the top 100.
The Cowboys are the latest to announce they are moving up to the NRL and will have to fight for a place in the rankings, while Canberra are expected to make the jump to the top two teams in a year’s time.
There is a sense of urgency with the AFL and NRL clubs to create a stronger talent pool.
The league has been pushing to increase its representation from the last two seasons and the inclusion of new teams, such as the Raiders and Bulldogs, in the league’s top 10, could prove to be a significant boost for the league.
While many NRL clubs were hoping to get their first premiership in 2019, it appears they are now waiting to see if the AFL or NRL can improve the quality of the teams they have at the moment.