Top 17s in 2019

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As we head in 2019, player movement (and coaching) has never been so aggressive and cut throat. The defending premiers the Roosters have been installed as the bookies pre season favourites, followed by the Storm. Canterbury and the Gold Coast are the sides who have been earmarked to struggle.

Usually by this time of year our team's squads are settled, however it is more than likely that there will be a few late trades made in the new year. With that in mind, let us see how each side is shaping up for 2019 on paper.

1. Darius Boyd (c) 
2. Corey Oates
3. James Roberts
4. Jack Bird
5. Jamayne Isaako
6. Anthony Milford
7. Kodi Nikorima
8. Joe Ofahengaue
9. Andrew McCullough
10. Matt Lodge
11. Alex Glenn
12. Matt Gillett
13. Tevita Pangai Junior

14. Payne Haas
15. Jaydn Su'A
16. David Fifita
17. Kotoni Staggs

Bolters - Sean O'Sullivan (HLB), Andre Savelio (BRF), Jordan Kahu (CTW)

Key Player - Anthony Milford had his most disappointing NRL season to date in 2018 and will be inching to turn things around in 2019. With the Broncos now blooding the most exciting young pack in the game combined with a host of representative players in the backline, if Milford fires then the Broncos could really challenge for the title. 


1. Jack Wighton
2. Nick Cotric
3. Jarrod Croker (c)
4. Joey Leilua
5. Jordan Rapana
6. Aidan Sezer
7. Sam Williams
8. Ryan Sutton
9. Josh Hodgson (c)
10. Dunamis Lui
11. Joseph Tapine
12. Elliott Whitehead
13. Josh Papalii

14. Ata Hingano
15. John Bateman 
16. Iosia Soliola 
17. Siliva Havili

Bolters - Michael Oldfield (CTW) Luke Bateman (FRF), Emre Guler (FRF), Brad Abbey (FLB), JJ Felise (BRF), Jack Murchie (BRF)

Key Player - Josh Hodgson missed the majority of the Raiders 2018 season and despite some solid efforts from his replacement Siliva Havili it was still too great a hole to fill. Hodgson has just been promoted to co-captain with Jarrod Croker for 2019 and it looks to be an inspired choice from Ricky Stuart. Hodgson ultimately holds the keys to the side's potent offence and this is by far the Raiders greatest strength. 


1. Nick Meaney
2. Reimis Smith
3. Will Hopoate
4. Kerrod Holland
5. Marcelo Montoya
6. Lachlan Lewis
7. Kieran Foran
8. Aiden Tolman
9. Michael Lichaa
10. Dylan Napa
11. Raymond Faitala-Mariner
12. Rhyse Martin
13. Josh Jackson (c)
 
14. Adam Elliott
15. Sauaso Sue
16. Corey Harawira-Naera
17. Jeremy Marshall-King

Bolters  - Christian Crichton (CTW), Danny Fualalo (FRF), Chris Smith(FRF), Jack Cogger (HLB), Ofahiki Ogden (FRF), Renouf To'omaga (FRF), Fa'manu Brown (HKR)

Key Player - Kieran Foran is the player under pressure at Belmore in 2019. Spending the majority of the season on the sideline, the Dogs big money signing was helpless as the Dogs didn't get near the Top 8 in 2018. Should the Bulldogs be any chance of making the Finals in 2019, they will need Foran to play well and to help guide rising star Lachlan Lewis through his second year in the top flight.


1. Matt Moylan
2. Sosaia Feki
3. Josh Morris
4. Josh Dugan
5. Sione Katoa
6. Shaun Johnson
7. Chad Townsend
8. Andrew Fifita
9. Jayden Brailey
10. Matt Prior
11. Kurt Capewell
12. Wade Graham
13. Paul Gallen (c)

14. Scott Sorenson
15. Aaron Woods
16. Ava Seumanufagai
17. Jayson Bukuya

Bolters - Blayke Brailey (HKR), Kyle Flanagan (HLB), Aaron Gray (CTW), Bronson Xerri (CTW), Billy Magoulias (BRF)

Key Player - Shaun Johnson replaces Valentine Holmes as the Sharks X-factor and what a player he could be for the Sharks in 2019. On his day he is simply lethal and the Sharks season could pend on how quickly he settles in life playing NRL in Australia.


1. Alexander Brimson
2. Anthony Don
3. Brian Kelly
4. Tyrone Peachey
5. Phillip Sami
6. Ryley Jacks
7. Ash Taylor
8. Jarrod Wallace
9. Nathan Peats
10. Shannon Boyd
11. Kevin Proctor
12. Ryan James
13. Jai Arrow

14. Mitch Rein
15. Moeaki Fotuaika
16. Keegan Hipgrave
17. Bryce Cartwright

Bolters - Tyrone Roberts (5/8), Dale Copley (CTW), Brenko Lee (CTW), Leilani Latu (FRF), Jack Stockwell  (FRF)

Key Player  - Ash Taylor is no doubt a talented halfback but a look at the Titans starting forward pack in 2019 and he finally has the platform to play his best footy. The Titans have some serious depth for the first time in a long time and Taylor will need to be primed for a breakout year if the Gold Coast are going to be finals contenders. 


1. Tom Trbojevic
2. Jorge Taufua
3. Moses Suli
4 .Dylan Walker
5. Brad Parker
6. Kane Elgey
7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c)
8. Addin Fonua-Blake
9. Apisau Koroisau
10. Martin Taupau
11. Joel Thompson
12. Curtis Sironen
13. Jake Trbojevic

14. Lloyd Perrett
15. Frank Winterstein
16. Taniela Paseka
17. Trent Hodkinson

Bolters - Manase Fainu (HKR), Jack Gosiewski (BRF), Kelepi Tanganoa (FRF), Brendan Elliot (CTW), Albert Hopoate (CTW), Corey Waddell (BRF), 

Key Player - Tom Trbojevic is coming off the back of his representative debut for the Blues in 2018, having debuted for Australia in 2017. He will again be the focal point of the Sea Eagles attack. Trbojevic was almost playing both fullback and five-eighth at the backend of last season and will be a greater threat should the new look Eagles halves pairing click early in the season. 


1. Jahrome Hughes 
2. Suliasi Vunivalu
3. Will Chambers
4. Curtis Scott
5. Josh Addo-Carr
6. Cameron Munster
7. Brodie Croft
8. Jesse Bromwich
9. Cameron Smith (c)
10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 
11. Felise Kaufusi
12. Joe Stimson
13. Dale Finucane

14. Christian Welch
15. Brandon Smith
16. Kenny Bromwich
17. Sam Kasiano

Bolters - Albert Vete (FRF), Cheyse Blair (CTW), Scott Drinkwater (FLB)

Key Player - Cameron Munster looms as the key man with Billy Slater retired. Whether he plays five-eighth or fullback is still yet to be determined by Craig Bellemy, however if he can continue to play consistently well again for the Storm and Queensland then the Storm will again be a force. 


1.     Connor Watson
2.     Edrick Lee
3.     Jesse Ramien
4.     Sione Mata'utia
5.     Shaun Kenny-Dowall
6.     Kalyn Ponga
7.     Mitchell Pearce
8.     Tim Glasby
9.     Danny Levi
10.  David Klemmer
11.  Lachlan Fitzgibbon
12.  Aidan Guerra
13.  Herman Ese'ese

14.  Mitchell Barnett
15.  Jamie Buhrer
16.  Daniel Saifiti
17.  James Gavet

Bolters - Kurt Mann (HKR), Tautau Moga (CTW), Hymel Hunt (CTW)Mason Lino (HFB), Zac Woolford (HKR) 

Key Player - Kalyn Ponga is an out and out superstar. That is the synopsis from his first full season in the NRL, but already Nathan Brown has vowed to take things up a notch by moving the Dally M runner up from fullback to five-eighth. Given his outstanding run in the #1 jersey in 2018, how Ponga adapts to the extra defensive load at five-eighth will be a key factor in the Knights success in 2019.


1.     Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c)
2.     David Fusitu'a
3.     Peta Hiku
4.     Solomone Kata
5.     Ken Maumalo
6.     Blake Green
7.     Chanel Harris-Tevita
8.     Leeson Ah Mau
9.     Issac Luke
10.  Agnatius Paasi
11.  Isaiah Papali'i
12.  Tohu Harris
13.  Adam Blair

14.  Jazz Tevaga
15.  Leivaha Pulu
16.  Bunty Afoa
17.  Gerard Beale

Bolters - Nathaniel Roache (HKR), Sam Lisone (FRF), Taane Milne (CTW), Adam Keighran (HLB), Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad (CTW), Patrick Herbert (CTW)

Key Player - Blake Green was an astute buy for the Warriors last year as the perfect foil for the recently departed Shaun Johnson. With Johnson's shock departure in the pre-season, Green now finds himself the key man in the halves and will now have a lot of responsibility resting on his shoulders.


1.     Ben Barba
2.     Kyle Feldt
3.     Justin O'Neil
4.     Tom Opacic
5.     Nene MacDonald
6.     Michael Morgan
7.     Te Maire Martin
8.     Josh McGuire
9.     Jake Granville
10.  Jordan McLean
11.  Gavin Cooper
12.  Coen Hess
13.  Jason Taumalolo

14.  Matt Scott
15.  John Asiata
16.  Ethan Lowe
17.  Kurt Baptisite

Bolters - Enari Tuala (CTW), Jake Clifford (HFB), Ben Hampton (HFB), Corey Jensen (BRF)

Key Player - Michael Morgan is the obvious key man given Jonathan Thurston's retirement. Morgan was outstanding on the Cowboys huge run to the 2017 Grand Final when the club was last without JT, and he has a stronger pack in 2019 to work with.


1.     Clint Gutherson
2.     Bevan French
3.     Michael  Jennings
4.     Brad Takairangi
5.     Blake Ferguson
6.     Jaeman Salmon
7.     Mitchell Moses
8.     Daniel Alvaro
9.     Kaysa Pritchard
10.  Junior Paulo
11.  Manu Ma'u
12.  Tepai Moeroa
13.  Nathan Brown

14.  Tim Mannah
15.  Peni Terepo
16.  Shaun Lane
17.  Will Smith

Bolters - Kane Evans (FRF), Josh Hoffman (CTW), Reed Mahoney (HKR), George Jennings (CTW), David Gower (FRF), Maika Sivo (CTW)

Key Player - Clint Gutherson has been a victim of his versatility as well as injury in recent seasons, but there is little doubt that he has been most effective for the Eels in the #1 jersey. The Eels nosedived last season after a strong 2017 season and giving Gurtherson the fullback position from Round 1 is a step in the right direction for Brad Arthur's men for 2019.


1.     Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
2.     Josh Mansour
3.     Dean Whare
4.     Waqa Blake
5.     Dylan Edwards
6.     James Maloney
7.     Nathan Cleary
8.     James Tamou
9.     Wayde Egan
10.  Reagan Campbell-Gillard
11.  Viliame Kikau
12.  Isaah Yeo
13.  James Fisher-Harris

14.  Tyrone May
15.  Jack Hetherington
16.  Tim Grant
17.  Moses Leota

Bolters  - Sione Katoa (HKR), Hame Sele (BRF), Tyrell Fuimaono (BRF), Caleb Aekins (FLB), Jarome Luai (HFB)  

Key Player - Nathan Cleary had an outstanding season in 2018, highlighted by making his NSW debut and again being one of the Panthers most consistent players. With his father Ivan's most publicised return to the foot of the mountains in 2019, the pressure will be on Cleary to hold his form and improve the Panthers chances come September.


1. Alex Johnson
2. Campbell Graham
3. Greg Inglis (c)
4. Dane Gagai
5. Robert Jennings 
6. Cody Walker
7. Adam Reynolds
8. Tom Burgess
9. Damien Cook
10. George Burgess
11. John Sutton
12. Cameron Murray
13. Sam Burgess

14. Kurt Dillon
15. Liam Knight
16. Adam Doueihi
17. Mark Nicholls

Bolters  - Corey Allan (FLB), Dean Britt (BRF), Kyle Turner (BRF), Matt McIlwrick (HKR) 

Key Player - Greg Inglis holds the key to backline positions as new coach Wayne Bennett had advised that he will play the Australian international where he feels most comfortable. Whether that is centre or a return to fullback remains to be seen, however a fit and firing GI gives the Bunnies every chance of contending for the premiership in 2019.


1. Gareth Widdop (c) 
2. Jordan Pereira
3. Euan Aitken
4. Tim Lafai
5. Zac Lomax
6. Corey Norman
7. Ben Hunt
8. Paul Vaughan
9. Cameron McInnes
10. James Graham
11. Tyson Frizell
12. Tariq Sims
13. Jack De Belin

14. Jeremy Latimore
15. Korbin Sims
16. Blake Lawrie
17. Luciano Leilua

Bolters - Matt Dufty (FLB), Jonus Pearson (CTW), Reece Robson (HKR), Jacob Host (BRF), Jai Field (5/8)

Key Player - Ben Hunt is the key man for the Dragons heading into the new season. The recent recruitment of Corey Norman suggests that Paul McGregor is looking for a right foot and left foot kicking combination in the halves, with skipper Gareth Widdop to switching to fullback in a roaming role in attack. This should suit Hunt's style and could be the subtle move that gets the Dragons firing in attack.


1. James Tedesco
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Latrell Mitchell
4. Joseph Manu
5. Brett Morris
6. Luke Keary
7. Cooper Cronk
8. Jared Waerea-Hargraves
9. Jake Friend
10. Sio Siua Taukeiaho
11. Boyd Cordner (c) 
12. Angus Crichton
13. Victor Radley

14. Isaac Liu
15. Zane Tetevano
16. Mitch Aubusson
17. Lindsay Collins

Bolters - Ryan Hall (CTW), Brock Lamb (HFB), Nat Butcher (BRF)

Key Player - James Tedesco had a stellar 2018, culminating in his first premiership and a dominant performance for NSW in State of Origin. Teddy looms as the key to the Roosters humming backline in 2019 and is a player the Roosters would struggle to replace if he was to miss any football.


1. Moses Mbye
2. David Nofoaluma
3. Esan Marsters
4. Mahe Fonua
5. Corey Thompson
6. Josh Reynolds
7. Luke Brooks
8. Russell Packer
9. Robbie Farah
10. Ben Matulino
11. Chris Lawrence
12. Ryan Matterson
13. Elijah Taylor 

14. Benji Marshall
15. Matthew Eisenhuth
16. Alex Twal
17. Josh Aloiai

Bolters - Zane Musgrave (FRF), Jacob Liddle (HKR), Paul Momirovski (CTW), Michael Chee Kam (BRF), Chris McQueen (BRF), Robbie Rochow (BRF), Luke Garner (BRF) 

Key Player - Luke Brooks' 2018 season was easily his most consistent and this was despite not having high profile signing Josh Reynolds in the #6 jersey for the majority of the season. The Tigers became Brooks' team and with new coach Michael Maguire having taken the Rabbitohs Adam Reynolds game to another level under his tutelage, there are positive signs out at Leichardt that Luke Brooks could fire this season.