Move over Craig Bellamy – Roosters coach Trent Robinson is now viewed as the premier coach in the NRL.
150 players from across all 16 clubs took part in the 2020 NRL players’ poll which was conducted by the Sydney Morning Herald and NRL.com, with the playing group lifting the lid on several hot-button issues.
Robinson dethroned Bellamy as the best coach in the NRL with the Roosters head coach named top dog ahead of him and legend Wayne Bennett.
Robinson moved up two spots from last year – collecting 24 per cent of the votes, while Bellamy had 17 per cent and the South Sydney coach polled 10 percent.
Strong starts to 2020 also saw the likes of Ivan Cleary and Adam O’Brien also rated among the game’s elite.
According to the poll, the Sydney Roosters is the most desired destination for players coming off contract, with almost a quarter of all players picking the tri-colours as the club they would most want to join if they had to leave their clubs.
The response highlights just how far the Roosters have come under Robinson’s guidance since he took over as coach in 2013.
In seven years, the Roosters mentor has notched up a 65 percent winning record and won four minor premierships, three premierships and three World Club Challenge victories.
Bennett and Bellamy were also successful early in their careers and claimed two premierships each (later stripped from the Storm) in their first seven seasons in their respective roles.
The Storm coach also had three minor premierships in his first seven seasons, while Bennett claimed one with the legendary 1992 Broncos team.
Robinson’s success has been built off a shrewd recruitment strategy that has seen the club develop some of the best players in the game while also head-hunting stars elsewhere.
Robinson took a punt on Cooper Cronk while making the tough decision to move on from Mitchell Pearce. Sonny-Bill Williams’ acquisition led to a premiership in 2013 and James Tedesco’s rise to arguably the best player in the game has come under Robinson’s watch.
Then you throw into the mix players like Luke Keary, Josh and Brett Morris and Kyle Flanagan, it’s clear Robinson is acutely aware of which players fit into his system.
The second part of the poll will be released on Tuesday and will reveal which players were voted the best in each position by their peers, who they think will win the 2020 premiership and which player has been the best buy this year.