Monday 18 December 2017 / 11:38 PM

SIX UP THE MIDDLE: BEST BUYS OF 2017

With over one-third of the season gone, here have been the six best buys so far in 2017.

Paul Vaughan (St George Illawarra)

Vaughan has gone from Raiders reserve grader to Origin contender on the back of a sensational opening nine rounds. Vaughan has all the toughness and size you want from a prop but mixes it in with nice footwork and deft touch.

Luke Keary (Sydney Roosters)

Maligned at South Sydney, Keary showed what he is made of with a stunning opening to the season where he jumped to an early Dally M Medal lead. His ability to play direct and with speed complements Mitchell Pearce perfectly. He has slowed a little but is still playing quality football, racking up eight try assists.

Josh Addo-Carr (Melbourne)

The fastest man in the NRL, the ex-Tiger has created a potent wing pairing with Suliasi Vunivalu and has had few issues fitting into the Storm system. The flyer has crossed for seven tries already and looks to have a long representative future.

Nathan Brown (Parramatta)

The fiery prop has few frills about his game but plays with hardness and intensity, making him a favourite of coach Brad Arthur. The journeyman has seen a few clubs but has surely found a home at the Eels now as their unquestioned pack enforcer.

Cameron McInnes (St George Illawarra)

Few players have surprised more in 2017 than McInnes, who is now remarkably in the frame for the NSW Origin No.9 role. Having struggled immensely at Souths, few could have anticipated the impact McInnes would have at the Dragons, particularly in attack.

Jarrod Wallace (Gold Coast)

The talk of the Titans was that Kevin Proctor would be the man to stiffen their pack up but it has been Broncos recruit Jarrod Wallace who has had the biggest impact. Tough and uncompromising, Wallace has been quality and is an outside chance for a Queensland debut in a depleted front-row contingent.

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About the author

Nick Tedeschi

You will not find a more passionate rugby league man than Nick, whose Making The Nut column has garnered a huge cult following over the last decade. The Sydney-based raconteur co-authored The Book of NRL Lists with CBS stablemate WILL EVANS in 2014 and has penned several other books; he joined the CBS team with his weekly Six Up The Middle feature in 2016.

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