Attempting to list the five best halfbacks in the Super League era has been a tremendously difficult task with a number of high-profile stars just missing out - Iestyn Harris, Henry Paul and Adrian Lam to name but a few. The stand-off and scrum-half that form a halfback partnership have the most important jobs to do in a Rugby League side - they control the game and lead their sides around the field.

Typically, one half of the duo tends to be the playmaker and the other half the magic individual. For example, Hull FC currently have Marc Sneyd controlling the team with his kicking and passing game whilst Albert Kelly is entrusted to create something out of nothing.

Throughout the 22 years of the summer game, there has been a wealth of talent in the halves. Here are five of the best:

Sean Long

Sean Long actually grew up in, and began his career, at Wigan in 1994. After 12 appearances for his hometown club, Long moved to Widnes in 1997 where he played just nine times in one season. Then, at the end of the 1997 season, Long moved to St Helens where he would stay for the next 12 years. Over the course of his Saints career, Long made 265 appearances, scoring 124 tries and kicking 812 goals and 20 drop-goals - the latter which proved crucial in a number of knockout cup and league games - which equated to a remarkable 2,140 points.

Despite being just 5 ft 9, Long batted well above his size to become one of St Helens' most important players in the 2000s.

Long emphatically set the record twice for the most points for Saints in a season - he registered 284 points in 1999 and a massive 352 in 2000. At the Lancashire club, Long won four Super League titles, two World Club Challenges and five Challenge Cups - three in which he won the Lance Todd Trophy - and was part of the treble-winning side of 2006.

Long also added the Man of Steel to his long list of honours in 2000.

It was no wonder then that Long received national call-ups - he represented Great Britain 15 times, scoring four tries and kicking 14 goals and a drop-goal. Long was also part of the England setup - he registered six appearances, scoring two tries and kicking five goals.

Long departed Saints for Hull FC in 2009 and went on to score six tries in 22 appearances before he finally retired at the end of the 2011 season. An intelligent halfback with a kicking, passing and running game that often enabled him to run rings round his opponents, Sean Long was an incredibly talented and committed character that played a crucial role in St Helens' domestic success.

Lee Briers

Lee Briers actually began his career with hometown club St Helens in 1997, scoring one try and kicking 24 goals in just six appearances. Seeking regular first-team rugby after missing out on a Challenge Cup Final place in 1997, Briers moved to Warrington where he became an instant hit. From 1998 to 2013, Briers established himself as perhaps the most impressive and creative halfbacks in the country despite being just 83kg and slow off the mark.

In those 15 years, Briers played 425 games for the Wolves, scoring 154 tries and kicking an astonishing 948 goals and an even more astounding 74 drop-goals to rack up over 2,500 points in total. This total became the greatest in the Warrington club's history, overtaking Brian Bevan.

Though successes at Warrington were few and far between in the early part of his career at the club, Briers steered the Wolves to three Challenge Cup successes in 2009, 2010 and 2012 - in the 2010 final, Briers was awarded the Lance Todd Trophy. His performances at club level ensured he was picked up by national scouts - though it was Wales he would turn out for. Between 1998 and 2011 - when he retired from international Rugby League - the wily halfback earned 23 caps, scoring nine tries and kicking 29 goals and six drop-goals.

When Briers finally retired in 2013 due to a neck injury, other teams sighed with relief - he had been a constant thorn in Super League teams' sides and would go down in history as one of the most intelligent halfbacks to ever play the game.

Robbie Paul

Robbie Paul joined Bradford as an 18-year-old in 1994 from his native New Zealand. It was 1996 when Paul first burst onto the scene with Bradford, captaining the Bulls at scrum-half in that year's Challenge Cup Final. Paul's efforts were so impressive - he scored three tries and ran the show - that he won the Lance Todd Trophy for an outstanding man-of-the-match performance. In the first Super League season, Paul was the Bulls' top try-scorer and still holds the record for the most amount of tries in a Bradford shirt.

From the late '90s to the early 2000s, Paul's stock rose considerably as he guided the Bulls to Grand Final success in 2001, a World Club Challenge victory in 2002 and a remarkable domestic "treble" in 2003. Paul and Bradford still had unfinished business though -in 2004 the Bulls scooped up another World Club Challenge and in 2005 the West Yorkshire side defeated local rivals Leeds in the Super League Grand Final.

When Paul left Bradford after 11 years at the club in 2006, his Super League career did not end. Paul spent two years at Huddersfield, before dropping down a league with Salford - where he played another two years - and then a final two-year hurrah with Leigh, before retiring at the end of 2011.

Paul appeared 241 times for the Bulls, scoring nearly 150 tries and kicking six goals in what was described as Bradford's "Golden Era" in the mid-2000s. For New Zealand, the flashy, confident half-back notched up 27 appearances over the course of nine years, scoring 13 tries and kicking two goals. When Paul left the Giants and thus Super League at the end of 2007 to join Salford - who had just been relegated - he had built a reputation for himself as one of the greatest overseas halfback imports to try his hand at Super League.

Paul Deacon

Hailing from Wigan, Paul Deacon began his illustrious Rugby League career at Oldham in 1997 where he played four games in one season. A move to Bradford materialised midway through 1998 when Deacon was just 19 years of age and it paid dividends for both him and the Bulls.

Over the course of 11 years, Deacon played 324 games for Bradford, scoring 74 tries as well as kicking a superb 1124 goals and 25 drop-goals - which equated to over 2,500 points.

Whilst at the Bulls, Deacon won one Challenge Cup, three Super League titles and a World Club Challenge. Though Deacon was part of the 2000 Challenge Cup winning squad, the Paul brothers were picked instead of him in the final. A tactical magician, Deacon was far from flashy, but became a crucial figure in the Bulls' Super League success in the 2000s so much so that he could not be ignored for the national side. He represented England four times and Great Britain ten - scoring one try for the former and one try and nine goals for the latter.

At the end of the 2009 season, Deacon parted ways with Bradford after 11 years, moving to Lancashire side Wigan. Despite being at Wigan for just two seasons, the 5 ft 8 halfback won the Grand Final in 2010 and the Challenge Cup in 2011, becoming an integral player in the club's revival under Michael Maguire. Deacon scored five tries and kicked 17 goals in 49 appearances for the Warriors before retiring at the end of the 2011 season.

Danny McGuire

The only halfback on this list to still be playing, Danny McGuire played 16 years for his boyhood club Leeds Rhinos before moving to Hull KR at the end of yet another title-winning year in 2017. Though McGuire found it hard to break into the Leeds team initially - he signed professionally in 2001 - by 2003, he had cemented a place in the first-team.

In 426 appearances for the Rhinos, McGuire scored 268 tries - a try-scoring feat which placed him at the top of the all-time Super League try-scoring list - and kicked five drop-goals.

In his Leeds career, McGuire won everything a Rugby League sportsman could win with his team; he won a remarkable eight Super League titles - he was awarded two Harry Sunderland trophies for man-of-the-match displays in the 2015 and 2017 Grand Finals - three World Club Challenges and two Challenge Cups. McGuire was at the heart of Leeds' Super League dominance and it was no surprise that he earned representative honours. For Great Britain, McGuire won 12 caps, scoring five tries and kicking one goal; for England, the halfback earned seven caps and scored four tries.

When McGuire ended his 16-year stay with Leeds in 2017, he left the club as one of the greatest ever halfbacks to have donned the Leeds shirt and definitely Leeds' best in the Super League era. McGuire is currently at newly-promoted Hull KR, playing a key role in ensuring they stay in Super League in 2018.