Ones to watch: Anthony Mullaly

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In early October 2015, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats beat Bradford Bulls in the inaugural Million Pound Game and then-Huddersfield Giants loanee Anthony Mullally scored one of the crucial tries to keep last season’s fifth placed team in Super League. That day, I would suggest that Ireland’s World Cup prop didn’t envisage lifting the Super League Grand Final trophy just two years on but that is exactly what he has gone and done.

Following a difficult first season with the Rhinos as a member of the pack who struggled to deal with the loss of Jamie Peacock, Kylie Leuluai and Kevin Sinfield, Mullally stepped up in 2017. Playing the majority of his games from the bench (28 in total), he has become one of the Super League champions’ main impact players with his hard running and acceleration – having seen many Rhinos’ matches this season, it is clear that Mullally is a hard man to stop and his leg drive has often seen him plough further towards the opposition line after impact. His running force is highlighted by his seven tries and Super League’s only vegan player is expected to get even better in 2018.

The experience gained over his two years at the Rhinos – one a struggle where character was definitely built and one where Leeds’ results were exactly what they wanted – will stand Mullally in great stead next season where he will hope to earn more appearances from minute one than this. In the matchday program for the Challenge Cup Semi Final against Hull FC, Mullally was described as the next Jamie Peacock and, while that may be too much pressure and unlikely, he is a likely Rhinos prop forward (alongside Brad Singleton) for the next five years.

2018 could be a very big year for the Ireland international.

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