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Who's off-contract after 2017 NRL season

AAP logoAAP 1/11/2016 Warren Barnsley

THE 15 BEST NRL PLAYERS OFF-CONTRACT AFTER 2017:

* Darius Boyd: Arguably the best fullback in the NRL, Boyd's career-best season for Brisbane allowed him to keep the No.1 jerseys in the Queensland and Australian teams.

* Ben Barba: The fullback won his first premiership with Cronulla after returning to his best and reviving his career following an unsuccessful stint with the Broncos.

* Billy Slater: Sidelined with injury the past two seasons, the star Melbourne No.1 believes he still has plenty to offer.

* James Tedesco: The star Wests Tigers' fullback is emerging as the man to reverse NSW's State of Origin fortunes. He was brilliant in his Origin debut this year in game three.

* Josh Dugan: A shining light during St George Illawarra's below-par year, the NSW centre was deemed good enough to keep Canberra's tackle-busting machine Joey Leilua out of Australian contention.

* Semi Radradra: Amid injury and troubled year off-field, the damaging Parramatta winger won his first Australian cap in 2016. Will be looking for a big 2017 after his place in the Kangaroos' squad was taken by Valentine Holmes.

* Jack Bird: Still young at 21, the centre's signature will be of much interest after a breakout year when he made his Origin debut for NSW. The Sharks have begun negotiations and have guaranteed he won't be going anywhere.

* Blake Ferguson: Despite a difficult year with strugglers the Sydney Roosters, Ferguson appears to have overcome off-field woes which led to his early career go off the rails. The centre was an Australian and NSW representative in 2016.

* Valentine Holmes: Another key member of the Sharks' premiership team, the 21-year-old scored an equal-second competition-high 19 tries this season. Made his Test debut for Australia in October against New Zealand.

* Anthony Milford: Only 22 but already approaching 100 NRL games, the playmaker is an integral member of the Broncos' plans. He was arguably the best player in the competition for the first 10 rounds. Brisbane are expected to throw everything at him to retain his services.

* Johnathan Thurston: The superstar North Queensland playmaker is in the latter stages of his career and has flagged stepping down from Queensland Origin duties next year to focus on winning his second premiership at club level. Led the NRL in try assists in 2016.

* Ben Hunt: Has been linked with move to Parramatta and has new competition for his halves spot at the Broncos with the arrival of Benji Marshall. Still an invaluable player, having recorded the third-most try assists in the NRL this year.

* Shaun Johnson: The halfback is under increasing pressure to lead the Warriors into premiership contention after five years in finals wilderness. Has his best opportunity in 2017 with a likely halves partnership with Kieran Foran, who is set to join the Auckland-based club.

* Mitchell Pearce: The Roosters' halfback will be out to atone for a year to forget which included his eight-week suspension at the start of the season for his Australia Day indiscretion. He lost the NSW No.7 jumper.

* Jason Taumalolo: A breakout year for the Cowboys' lock included his first Dally M award which he shared with Melbourne's Cooper Cronk. The monster Kiwi averaged the second-most metres of any forward in the competition.

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