He may start most matches from the bench, but is often the first player pitched into battle when that first interchange needs to be made, with Jayson Bukuya an integral member of the Sharks forward pack once again in 2017.
A shining light in the premiership winning season of 2016, Bukuya was similarly effective this past season, with the Sharks losing nothing whenever and wherever he was injected into the game.
His versatility, footwork and speed allows Coach Flanagan to use him effectively as a middle forward, or when required on an edge as a substitute for Graham or Lewis, with Bukuya equally comfortable in either role.
While not a huge man, Bukuya’s work in the gym sees him rated amongst the strongest pound-for-pound in the club, which translates to his robust performances on the field.
Played 23 games in 2017, missing just two, with his consistency his biggest asset. Bukuya’s worst day is not all that far away from his best, meaning you always know what you are getting, making him the ultimate team man.
Season highlight: Predominantly used off the bench in 2017 but when given the chance to start in the round 15 match against the Wests Tigers, Bukuya starred in the 24-22 win. Not only did Bukuya score the game-clinching try, winning the race to a Daniel Mortimer grubber in the dying moments, but he was highly productive throughout an 80-minute performance, carrying the ball 13 times for 173 metres, while also making 29 tackles.
2017 Stats: Jayson Bukuya
Games played: 23
Run Metres: 2042
Hit ups: 196
Off loads: 19