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As we count down to season 2014, identifies 30 players who will be crucial to their team's fortunes this year. From new faces to rising stars to proven performers who will need to lift this season, these are our 'MVPs' for 2014.

What else is there to say about Sonny Bill Williams? In 2013 he came, he saw and he conquered – at NRL level, if not the World Cup – as the biggest of the Sydney Roosters' three big signings.

The former Bulldogs-prodigy-turned-All Black lived up to all expectations in his return to the NRL, helping to transform the Roosters from bottom-eight strugglers into major and minor premiers. He couldn't repeat the trick with the Kiwis at the year-ending World Cup, falling to a mighty Kangaroos side in the final, but Sonny's return season in the NRL was undoubtedly a success.

To top it all off, Williams was named the best player on the planet in 2013 by taking out the RLIF's International Player of the Year award.

The question now is: can he do it again?

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.