Melbourne Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuzen

The fullback position this year is looming as a pivotal decision, especially early on in the year.

Who you decide to take in Round 1 could be the difference between a hot start and a sluggish one.

With that being said, Ryan Papenhuyzen appears to be the one standout purchase heading into the 2020 NRL season.

Let’s take an in-depth look at why.

Despite being fresh on the scene, there a few players in the game that run the ball as often as Papenhuyzen and to such effect.

In six starts at fullback last season, Papenhuyzen averaged 36.3PPG in runs alone. That doesn’t include tackle busts, line breaks or anything additional.

Other key numbers to come from his six games at fullback include an average of 13PPG in tackle busts, nine linebreaks and a try in five of the six games.

Throw in three forced drop outs just because that’s what Papenhuyzen does…

If we take runs and tackle busts alone and assume he did absolutely nothing else in those games, he still would have scored just on 50.

What does this look like as a whole though?

Melbourne Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen

Well, in those six starts, Papenhuyzen averaged 95PPG. Incredible.

But the more encouraging thing is that across the whole season, he scored at a rate of 1.37 points per minute.

He came off the bench a lot of the year and some of it was as a roving lock type position which may slightly skew things but 1.37PPM equates to an average of 109.6PPG if he played 80 minutes each week.

While he surely won’t be that good, the numbers are simply out of this world.

Add in the fact that Papenhuyzen is priced at a mid 50s average and you have what should be your first fullback picked without much hesitation.

It shouldn’t really matter how enticing some of the other options are, regardless of the pedigrees of Tom Trbojevic and James Tedesco who come with a far higher price tag.

Hopefully he can be as good as advertised.

Melbourne Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen

But even with a reduction in last season’s numbers, he is still probably equal to being a genuine keeper.

At worst, a bucket load of cash will be made to allow an upgrade if necessary.

If, however, he continues on with last year’s performances we could be looking at something very special. Captaincy material anyone? Enjoy the ride.


By ricky

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