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Opinion

2022 NRL signings: Who will continue to amaze, and who just won’t be the same?

Nicho Hynes (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Editor
19th August, 2021
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1910 Reads

There are a lot of players who will be saying farewell to their current clubs at the end of this season. But do the names seem bigger than usual?

There are some massive signings getting ready to wear new colours next year. Many are carrying the hopes of their new club on their shoulders, to bring their magic to their new home and get them into the winners’ circle.

Names like Matt Dufty, Paul Vaughan, Dane Gagai, Chad Townsend, Shaun Johnson, Xavier Coates, Kurt Capewell, Brent Naden, Cameron McInnes, Jayden Sua, Anthony Milford – big names moving to new clubs with huge expectations.

Sometimes a player, no matter how good, just isn’t quite the same when he moves to a different team. This got me thinking – which top signings for the 2022 season have the most pressure to perform?

Whose talents and success will carry through to their new clubs because that’s just who they are, and who won’t reach the expected heights without their current team around them?

Adam Reynolds
A strong leader, champion halfback, precision goal kicker and all-round elite player, Reynolds has been an essential part of the South Sydney Rabbitohs success.

He was a member of the clubs’ 2014 grand final winning team, was the highest point scorer in the NRL for 2020 and has just past the great Eric Simms to become the highest point scorer in the clubs’ history.

The beloved captain and star halfback for the Rabbitohs has bled red and green his whole life.

Growing up near Redfern oval, being a Souths Junior and playing for his beloved Souths for the past decade, many thought that Reynolds would finish his career where it started.

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But contract negotiations could not be reached, and Reynolds is set to leave The Burrow to join the Brisbane Broncos next year. Will success follow him north of the border, or will the challenge of bringing the Broncos back to their former glory prove too much?

Adam Reynolds

Adam Reynolds is waving goodbye to Redfern. (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Josh Addo-Carr
Addo-Carr has been an integral part of the Melbourne Storm for the past five seasons. One of the fastest men in the game, scoring 100 club tries in his career and is easily one of the most electric and entertaining wingers to watch.

A two-time grand final winner, State of Origin hero and Indigenous All-Star, Addo-Carr has an outstanding resume. He is set to join the Bulldogs for 2022.

Will his legacy carry on at Belmore, or is everything that he has accomplished only due to being part of the Storm?

Dale Finucane
One of the most in demand players for next season, Finucane is another member of the Storm Elite, who’s on-field presence, leadership and experience are hard to match.

Finucane found many clubs wanted him not only for what he does on-field, but for his ability to mentor and guide the playing group off the field as well.

Coach Craig Bellamy admitted “I don’t think I’ve ever coached a more enjoyable player, to be quite honest with you. He’s that diligent in what he does.”

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A veteran who made his NRL debut in 2012 for the Bulldogs before moving to the Storm in 2015, has played in six grand finals, two State of Origin series and was this year named as Co-Captain at the Storm.

Cronulla Sharks incoming coach Craig Fitzgibbons will be looking to Finucane to bring his talent and leadership to the Shire next year and help steer them to another premiership. Will he reach the standard that is expected of him, or is he only the champion he is while wearing purple?

Dale Finucane Melbourne Storm NRL Rugby League Grand Final 2017

Plenty of players don’t play so good when they take the purple jersey off – will that happen to Dale Finucane? (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Nicho Hynes
I don’t think it’s surprising that there are three Melbourne Storm players in my top five signings for next season.

Hynes hasn’t put a foot wrong this year, been the reliable goal kicker and has successfully filled in at fullback for Ryan Papenhuyzen while he has been injured.

Despite showing off his skills at fullback, Hynes favoured spot is five-eighth, which is where he is expected to play when he joins Finucane in a move to the Cronulla Sharks next year.

Will Hynes live up to the hype and become the superstar many believe he can be, or is being at Melbourne what brings out the best in him?

Matt Burton
Burton has had a stellar 2021 for the Penrith Panthers, and has played such an important role in the team’s success. Scoring 15 tries, as well as having the ability to kick goals and fill in for different positions when required, Burton has showed this season he is a man of many talents.

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While carving it up in his usual position of centre, his preferred spot is in the halves, and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands to show exactly what he could do there while the Origin stars were away.

At only 21 years of age, the sky is the limit for Burton. Is signing with the Bulldogs just the change he needs to step out on his own and become – who many believe – one of the best players ever, or will success away from the likes of Nathan Cleary, Jerome Lui and James Fisher-Harris prove too difficult?

What do you think Roarers? Who is carrying the highest expectations going into their new club? Who will continue to amaze, and who just won’t be the same?

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