With all clubs having lodged their 2019 rosters with the NRL, we pause to take an early look at where the biggest changes have occurred.
Brisbane welcome new coach Anthony Seibold after growing tired of long-term coach Wayne Bennett. The Broncos have only ever had three coaches in their history and it will be interesting to see what Seibold can bring to the club.
The Broncos have lost Corey Allan, Sam Thaiday, Thomas Opacic and Korbin Sims and have only really signed Sean O’Sullivan. There has been talk of Mitchell Moses heading north, as the halves seem to be one of their main areas of concern. How long will it take Seibold to bring premiership success back to a club that expects no less? Will Darius Boyd be able to function under a coach whose name is not Wayne Bennett?
The Bulldogs have lost David Klemmer and the Morris twins, to go with the many stars they shed last season. They had recruited mostly emerging talent in Nick Meaney, Jack Cogger, Christian Crichton, Sauaso Sue, Corey Harawira-Naera and Chris Smith, before welcoming Dylan Napa as a ready-made replacement for Klemmer. This is coach Dean Pay’s second year in charge and he is starting to build his own post-Des Hasler team.
Returning from injury, Keiren Foran is one Hasler purchase who will be key to how the Bulldogs go in 2019. Lachlan Lewis was a find last year in the halves, but he needs a partner. Can Foran recapture his old form and become a formidable halve combination with Lewis?
Cronulla have lost some big names in Jesse Ramien, Edrick Lee, Ricky Leutele, Luke Lewis and James Segeyaro, but none bigger than NFL-bound Valentine Holmes. It was looking like one-way traffic out of the Shire, with Josh Morris being the only player of note to join the Sharks, and then, Shaun Johnson escaped the Warriors and signed on the dotted line.
How much impact will Johnson have at the Sharks? Will Matt Moylan excel at fullback as he did at times for the Panthers? Can veteran Morris cover for the loss of so many key outside backs?
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