The next man up mentality is alive and well at the Sydney Roosters, and Matt Ikuvalu was the best possible example of that in 2020.
Though Ikuvalu wasn't named to start the season on the wing, he was a late inclusion in the absence of Angus Crichton and ended up being the runner-up in Fan Voted Man Of The Match votes for Round 1 and 2.
When he returned to the line-up in Round 9, he would fill in for Brett Morris who was ruled out of the clash in the warm-up ahead of kick off.
Knowing the importance of playing first grade, he would go on to score five tries in that match and claim the Fan Voted Man Of The Match award.
He went on to start for the Roosters in the next six matches before sustaining an ankle injury.
When the opportunity was presented to Ikuvalu in 2020, he took it on with both hands and forced some tough decisions for the coaching staff.
He'll be back in 2021 to improve on what was an impressive season to say the least.
PHOTO OF THE YEAR
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OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
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Key stats: 5 tries, 7 tackle breaks, 50 post contact metres, 0 missed tackles
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