ESPN's NRL team of the year

The finals are here and there are eight teams remaining in the pursuit of premiership glory. As we prepare for the run to the Grand Final, ESPN takes a moment to consider the best 13 players in position across the NRL competition this year.

1. James Tedesco
The first player picked, for the Roosters, for New South Wales, for Australia and for this esteemed line-up. Tedesco is almost unanimously the best player in the world at the moment. His running, his passing and his defence combine to make him the best at what he does. The players he beats to the position only highlight how good he is with Tom Trbojevic, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Clint Gutherson all having great seasons, but still languishing behind Teddy. There will be a lot of arguments over the players on this list, but very few will argue about this position.

2. Maika Sivo
The latest superstar from the Fijian winger production line, Sivo has become a cult figure at the Parramatta Eels. Typical of flyers from the small Pacific island nation, Sivo is a hard-hitting, hard-running ball of muscle and sinew. Blessed with all the skills to enable some of the most acrobatic finishes, Sivo is also a formidable weapon running the ball out of trouble. The Eels may have lost Semi Radradra to rugby union, but many think Sivo will be his equal, if not even better.

3. Latrell Mitchell
The compettion's leading points scorer had a bit of a slump around State of Origin, costing him his Blues jersey and resulting in some soul searching for the Roosters flyer. Butin the lead up he was being described as unstoppable and has recently returned to that kind of form. The centre position has some young guns coming through in Bronson Xerri and Brent Naden, but for now they will have to wait behind Mitchell.

4. Jarrod Croker
Possibly the world's most underrated player for the past five years, Croker is a large part of the Raiders great 2019 season. Reliable in defence, always ready to set up his outside men and a deadly accurate goal kicker as well. Croker's leadership qualities cannot be overlooked either as he keeps his Raiders focused for the full 80 minutes and drives them to continually turn up in defence.

5. Josh Addo-Carr
The Fox has had another outstanding year for the Storm. His electrifying pace is coupled with that vital winger talent of being exactly where he needs to be at all times. Runs the ball out of trouble with the best of them and excels under the high ball. He is unquestionably one of the best finishers in the completion.

6. Cameron Munster
Melbourne Storm were expected to have some transitional issues following the departure of superstar fullback Billy Slater who was so much more than just a fullback. The fact the Storm eased to another minor premiership is largely thanks to the contribution of five-eight Munster, who picked up the attacking slack left by Slater's retirement. If the Storm win the Grand Final Munster will go close to winning the Clive Churchill medal.

7. Daly Cherry-Evans
It has been a relatively lean year as far as stand out performers in the halfback role, but DCE has been instrumental in the Sea Eagles' revival under returning coach Des Hasler. Cherry-Evans has improved with maturity and has the complete game now at club, Origin and International level.

8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Love him or hate him, you'd still rather have him on your side than playing against you. JWH is a traditional hard-headed enforcer who plays close to the line, but always at full speed and with plenty of passion. Makes plenty of tough metres with the ball and is a large part of why the Roosters are defending premiers.

9. Damien Cook
Cook has had another sensational year for the Rabbitohs and will take his place in the Australian No. 9 later this year. His ability to read a defence and take advantage of the slightest lapse in intensity makes Cook the most dangerous dummy half runner in the completion. His passing game and defence make for the perfectly rounded No. 9.

10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
Big Nelson spent a lot of the last two seasons coming off the bench for the Storm as a very difficult to stop impact forward. There were doubts over his stamina and he was known for the odd handling error. This season coach Craig Bellamy has him starting, he is leaner, makes a lot less mistakes and is a huge part of the way the Storm dominate teams up the middle of the park.

11. David Fifita
The young Broncos forward started the year with plenty of wraps and has outperformed the highest praise. Making his debut for Queensland, Fifita returned to club football for the Broncos and stepped up to another level. His barnstorming runs are the stuff of defensive nightmares.

12. John Bateman
On the back of the success of hooker Josh Hodgson, coach Ricky Stuart went looking for additional English talent. He found John Bateman and the the backrower from Bradford via Wigan has been a sensation. The Raiders are having an incredible season and Bateman's impact on the edge of the ruck has played a large part in that.

13. Cameron Murray
There was plenty of praise coming the way of Cameron Murray at the start of the season as he stepped up for the Rabbitohs. Whatever the experts saw in him was only magnified tenfold by his stint in the Blues jersey as he came back to club football one of the most dangerous attacking forwards in the game. Did well to just beat Jake Trbojevic and Jason Taumalolo into this team.