Though for most Super League sides the season is just five games old, there have already been a number of standout players that have been key in propelling their sides to victory. St Helens have started the 2018 season like a house on fire with Wigan, Leeds and Wakefield in hot pursuit, whilst French side Catalans have failed to impress. Here are the top five players from the season so far.

5. Ben Barba

Despite making just five appearances towards the back end of 2017 with St Helens, Ben Barba showed glimpses of the class that the world of Rugby League knows he possesses.

His dynamic and elusive running game is amongst the best in the sport, whilst his defensive game has already been vital in Saints' impressive start to the season.

In their opening six matches so far, Barba has been the kingpin of the Saints side, linking up brilliantly with half-backs Danny Richardson and Jonny Lomax. With six tries and seven assists from the Lancashire side's opening six games, Barba has slotted in seamlessly at full-back. If St Helens are to win silverware this year - as many tip them to do - the 29-year-old will be crucial.

4. Morgan Escare

The livewire French full-back has made himself comfortable at Wigan in the past year; though he sustained a season-ending injury midway through 2017, Escare has bounced back tremendously to consolidate his position in Wigan's 17-man squad, despite the presence of former England international Sam Tomkins.

The diminutive No.1 has played in all of the Warriors' games so far as a substitute - including Wigan's Australian test against Souths - and has impressed greatly when given his chance off the bench.

When Shaun Wane has given Escare the nod to take to the field, the Frenchman has given Wigan another exciting dimension. He is fast on his feet with great ball skills and can create something out of nothing; it is no surprise therefore, that with their array of attacking flair, the Warriors are currently enjoying a much better start to 2018 than they did in 2017.

3. Tom Johnstone

Tom Johnstone seems to be the name on everyone's lips at the minute. Whether you are a pundit or a fan, one just has to admire his lightning pace and devastating finishing ability. In fact, Johnstone has been so impressive at the start of the season that he has been called up to the 21-man England Elite Performance Squad by head coach Wayne Bennett.

After suffering an excruciating injury in May last year, the 22-year-old flier has taken his game to another level in 2018, scoring four tries in four games and appearing very much like an England-quality winger.

2. Krisnan Inu

Though Krisnan Inu had a less than memorable two-and-a-half year stint with Catalans, the powerful three-quarter has settled in seamlessly at Widnes. With five tries in five games, the former New Zealand international has been vital to the Vikings' decent start to the season.

Inu has not only brought an exciting attacking dimension to the Widnes side, but he has also shown himself to be a formidable defender and a vocal leader on the field. The fact that he has already earned three man-of-the-match awards demonstrates just how well he has hit the ground running at his new club.

If Widnes are to avoid the Middle 8s, the 30-year-old needs to continue his sparkling form.

1. Mark Percival

Ben Barba has been getting much of the adulation around Super League at the minute, but most forget that one of St Helens' key men is centre Mark Percival. The 23-year-old tore Castleford apart in round one and has continued his impressive form throughout the early rounds so far. With seven tries in six games, centre Percival is the league's top try-scorer and has often been the star of the show in what has turned out to be a highly-dominant start by the Saints.

Percival's decision-making is amongst the best in the game and it was no surprise that Wayne Bennett called him up to the Elite Performance Squad with a view to the mid-season Test against New Zealand in Denver. A Saints lad through and through, Percival's quality is really beginning to show - he will be vital for Saints' title-charge this year.