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NRL 2022 Round 1 predicted teams for EVERY club

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Expert
31st December, 2021
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The calendar has ticked over to 2022 and the countdown is on to kick-off in the NRL premiership.

All 16 teams are heading back to pre-season training after the Christmas break ready to put the final preparations in the lead-up to the trials in February and round one in March.

They each have selection conundrums leading into the season with injuries and roster turnover causing headaches for the coaches.

Team by team, here is how each team is expected to line up for their season opener.

Broncos

Key spots to unlock:
Tyson Gamble is likely to partner marquee recruit Adam Reynolds in the halves but Billy Walters, Albert Kelly and possibly Star centre Kotoni Staggs could wear the No.6 jersey that coach Kevin Walters used to occupy. Fullback has been a concern the past couple of years with Tesi Niu the likely first cab off the rank in 2022.

Round 1 predicted team

1. Tesi Niu
2. Corey Oates
3. Kotoni Staggs
4. Herbie Farnworth
5. Jamayne Isaako
6. Tyson Gamble
7. Adam Reynolds
8. Payne Haas
9. Jake Turpin
10. Rhys Kennedy
11. Jordan Riki
12. Kurt Capewell
13. Patrick Carrigan
14. Kobe Hetherington
15. Corey Jensen
16. Ryan James
17. TC Robati

Others: Thomas Flegler (suspended until Round 3), Brendan Piakura (suspended until Round 2), Billy Walters, Jordan Pereira, Jesse Arthars, Selwyn Cobbo, Albert Kelly, Brenko Lee, Ezra Mam, David Mead, Corey Paix, Keenan Palasia

Raiders

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Key spots to unlock:
Jamal Fogarty should make a seamless transition into the halfback jersey but the centres are a problem area for Ricky Stuart with Seb Kris and Harley Smith-Shields options as Jarrod Croker tries to get his knee right over the off-season.

Round 1 predicted team

1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
2. Nick Cotric
3. Jarrod Croker
4. Sebastian Kris
5. Xavier Savage
6. Jack Wighton
7. Jamal Fogarty
8. Josh Papalii
9. Josh Hodgson
10. Corey Horsburgh
11. Hudson Young
12. Elliott Whitehead
13. Joseph Tapine
14. Tom Starling
15. Corey Harawira-Naera
16. Emre Guler
17. Ryan Sutton

Others: Jordan Rapana (suspended), Adam Elliott, Matt Frawley, Albert Hopoate, Peter Hola, Trey Mooney, Harry Rushton, Brad Schneider, Harley Smith-Shields, Matthew Timoko, Semi Valemei, Sam Williams

Adam Elliott

Adam Elliott. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Bulldogs

Key spots to unlock:
Halfback continues to be a problem area despite all their recruitment – Kyle Flanagan and Jake Averillo are in contention to partner Panthers signing Matt Burton in the halves. Brandon Burns, Brent Naden and Aaron Schoupp will be battling it out for two centre berths.

Round 1 predicted team

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1. Matt Dufty
2. Corey Allan
3. Braidon Burns
4. Brent Naden
5. Josh Addo-Carr
6. Matt Burton
7. Jake Averillo
8. Tevita Pangai jnr
9. Jeremy Marshall-King
10. Paul Vaughan
11. Josh Jackson
12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner
13. Luke Thompson
14. Kyle Flanagan
15. Jack Hetherington
16. Corey Waddell
17. Ava Seumanufagai

Others: Paul Alamoti, Bailey Biondi-Odo, Jayden Okunbor, Josh Cook, Matt Doorey, Tui Katoa, Max King, Chris Patolo, Aaron Schoupp, Jackson Topine, Joe Stimson, Brandon Wakeham

Sharks

Key spots to unlock:
Centre lacks depth at Cronulla with the versatile Connor Tracey set to partner Jesse Ramien. There are three halves chasing two spots with new recruit Nicho Hynes likely to line up alongside Braydon Trindall with veteran Matt Moylan the other option. Dale Finucane and Cam McInnes add experience and professionalism to the middle rotation.

Round 1 predicted team

1. Will Kennedy
2. Sione Katoa
3. Connor Tracey
4. Jesse Ramien
5. Ronaldo Mulitalo
6. Nicho Hynes
7. Braydon Trindall
8. Toby Rudolf
9. Blayke Brailey
10. Dale Finucane
11. Siosifa Talakai
12. Wade Graham
13. Cameron McInnes
14. Matt Moylan
15. Braden Hamlin-Uele
16. Briton Nikora
17. Teig Wilton

Others: Jayden Berrell, Andrew Fifita, Mawene Hiroti, Royce Hunt, Matt Ikuvalu, Lachlan Miller, Luke Metcalf, Franklin Pele, Jensen Taumoepeau, Aiden Tolman, Jack Williams

Titans

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Key spots to unlock:
Jayden Campbell’s rise to prominence at fullback means AJ Brimson is set to start the season at five-eighth with another young gun, Toby Sexton, entrusted to replace Raiders recruit Jamal Fogarty at halfback. Isaac Liu gives Gold Coast more grunt in their middle forward rotation.

Round 1 predicted team

1. Jayden Campbell
2. Phillip Sami
3. Patrick Herbert
4. Brian Kelly
5. Corey Thomson
6. AJ Brimson
7. Toby Sexton
8. Moeaki Fotuaika
9. Erin Clark
10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
11. David Fifita
12. Kevin Proctor
13. Isaac Liu
14. Will Smith
15. Jarrod Wallace
16. Beau Fermor
17. Jaimin Jolliffe

Others: Tanah Boyd, Herman Ese’ese, Sosefo Fifita, Alofi’ana Khan-Pereira, Sam Lisone, Esan Marsters, Sam McIntyre, Greg Marzhew, Paul Turner, Joseph Vuna

Alex Brimson of the Titans

AJ Brimson (Getty Images)

Sea Eagles

Key spots to unlock:
Manly have one of the most settled line-ups in the NRL with Broncos recruit Ethan Bullemore as a bench forward the most likely change to their first-choice team from last season.

Round 1 predicted team

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Tom Trbojevic
2. Jason Saab
3. Brad Parker
4. Morgan Harper
5. Reuben Garrick
6. Kieran Foran
7. Daly Cherry-Evans
8. Josh Aloiai
9. Lachlan Croker
10. Martin Taupau
11. Josh Schuster
12. Haumole Olakau’atu
13. Jake Trbojevic
14. Dylan Walker
15. Taniela Paseka
16. Ethan Bullemor
17. Sean Keppie

Others: Morgan Boyle, Andrew Davey, Sione Fainu, Tolutau Koula, Toff Sipley, Jorge Taufua, Karl Lawton, Ben Trbojevic, Christian Tuipulotu, Alec Tu’itavake

Storm

Key spots to unlock:
No Munster, Grant, Smith or Lewis for round one and a cloud hanging over Tui Kamikamika (stood down while facing assault charges) means plenty of headaches for Craig Bellamy on top of the off-season exits of Dale Finucane, Nicho Hynes and Josh Addo-Carr.

Round 1 predicted team

1. Ryan Papenhuyzen
2. Xavier Coates
3. Reimis Smith
4. Justin Olam
5. George Jennings
6. Cooper Johns
7. Jahrome Hughes
8. Jesse Bromwich
9. Tyran Wishart
10. Christian Welch
11. Felise Kaufusi
12. Kenny Bromwich
13. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
14. Tui Kamikamica
15. Nick Meaney
16. Tepai Moeroa
17. Thomas Eisenhuth

Others: Harry Grant, Brandon Smith, Chris Lewis, Cameron Munster (all suspended until Round 2), Trent Loiero, Jordan Grant, Jack Howarth, Dean Ieremia, Josh King, Jayden Nikorima, Jonah Pezet, William Warbrick

Knights

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Key spots to unlock:
Mitchell Pearce’s decision to finish his career with the Catalans Dragons means Adam O’Brien will need to find a new halves combination from Jake Clifford, Kurt Mann and Adam Clune. Dane Gagai’s arrival from Souths solves their long-running centre issues. Jayden Brailey’s pre=season Achilles tear means Chris Randell or utility Kurt Mann will take over at hooker.

Round 1 predicted team

1. Kalyn Ponga
2. Enari Tuala
3. Dane Gagai
4. Bradman Best
5. Hymel Hunt
6. Jake Clifford
7. Adam Clune
8. David Klemmer
9. Chris Randall
10. Daniel Saifiti
11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon
12. Tyson Frizell
13. Mitchell Barnett
14. Kurt Mann
15. Jacob Saifiti
16. Sauaso Sue
17. Brodie Jones

Others: Phoenix Crossland, Bailey Hodgson, Jack Johns, Jacob Kiraz, Jirah Momoisea, Brayden Musgrove, Simi Sasagi, Pasami Saulo, Starford To’a, Dominic Young, Jayden Brailey

Warriors

Key spots to unlock:
No Reece Walsh for round one due to a drugs ban means Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will likely wear the No.1 jersey. Shaun Johnson, Kodi Nikorima and Chanel Harris-Tavita are duking it out for the two starting playmaker positions.

Round 1 predicted team

1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
2. Marcelo Montoya
3. Adam Pompey
4. Rocco Berry
5. Jesse Arthars
6. Kodi Nikorima
7. Shaun Johnson
8. Addin Fonua-Blake
9. Wayde Egan
10. Matt Lodge
11. Euan Aitken
12. Josh Curran
13. Jazz Tevaga
14. Chanel Harris-Tavita
15. Bunty Afoa
16. Eliesa Katoa
17. Ben Murdoch-Masila
Others: Reece Walsh (suspended until Round 2), Tohu Harris, Edward Kosi, Jack Murchie, Taniela Otukolo, Aaron Pene, Iliesa Ratuva, Pride Petterson-Robati, Bailey Sironen, Viliami Vailea

Cowboys

Key spots to unlock:
Todd Payten faces a three into two halves headache with veteran recruit Chad Townsend up against incumbents Tom Dearden and Scott Drinkwater. Second-rower is another area up for grabs with young gun Heilum Luki a potential X-factor on an edge.

Round 1 predicted team

1. Valentine Holmes
2. Kyle Feldt
3. Peta Hiku
4. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
5. Murray Tualagi
6. Scott Drinkwater
7. Chad Townsend
8. Jordan McLean
9. Reece Robson
10. Coen Hess
11. Mitchell Dunn
12. Heilum Luki
13. Jason Taumalolo
14. Reuben Cotter
15. Ben Condon
16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
17. Lachlan Burr

Others: Daejarn Asi, Kane Bradley, Tom Dearden, Tom Gilbert, Jake Granville, Ben Hampton, Laitia Moceidreke, Jeremiah Nanai, Griffin Neame, Emry Pere, Connelly Lemuelu

Scott Drinkwater of the Cowboys looks to pass the ball

Scott Drinkwater (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Eels

Key spots to unlock:
With Blake Ferguson unwanted in the NRL and now trying rugby while Maika Sivo recovers from knee surgery, the wings will have a fresh look at Parra. Bailey Simonsson should be one after switching from Canberra while Haze Dunster, Sean Russell or Solomone Naiduk a chance for the other flank.

Round 1 predicted team

1. Clint Gutherson
2. Bailey Simonsson
3. Will Penisini
4. Waqa Blake
5. Haze Dunster
6. Dylan Brown
7. Mitchell Moses
8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard
9. Reed Mahoney
10. Junior Paulo
11. Shaun Lane
12. Ryan Matterson
13. Nathan Brown
14. Isaiah Papali’i
15. Ray Stone
16. Oregon Kaufusi
17. Bryce Cartwright

Others: Marata Niukore (suspended until Round 2), Jakob Arthur, Wiremu Greig, David Hollis, Makahesi Makatoa, Solomone Naiduki, Tom Opacic, Hayze Perham, Sean Russell, Maika Sivo

Panthers

Key spots to unlock:
Izack Tago could break into the premiership-winning side at centre while Stephen Crichton will likely come back in from the wing after Matt Burton (Bulldogs) and Paul Momirovski departed in the off-season. Liam Martin is a readymade edge-forward replacement for Broncos recruit Kurt Capewell.

Round 1 predicted team

1. Dylan Edwards
2. Charlie Staines
3. Stephen Crichton
4. Izack Tago
5. Brian To’o
6. Jarome Luai
7. Nathan Cleary
8. Moses Leota
9. Apisai Koroisau
10. James Fisher-Harris
11. Viliame Kikau
12. Liam Martin
13. Isaah Yeo
14. Mitch Kenny
15. Spencer Leniu
16. Matt Eisenhuth
17. Scott Sorensen

Others: Eddie Blacker, Kurt Falls, J’maine Hopgood, Robert Jennings, Taylan May, Sean O’Sullivan, Lindsay Smith, Jaeman Salmon, Chris Smith

Dragons

Key spots to unlock:
With Matt Dufty at the Dogs and Corey Norman retiring after failing to land a contract, Tyrell Sloan is set to start the year at fullback while Jayden Sullivan and Junior Amone will duel it out for the five-eighth role. Jack Bird is tipped to make a transition to lock to make room for Manly recruit Moses Suli at centre which should also mean Jack de Belin is moved to prop.

Round 1 predicted team

1. Tyrell Sloan
2. Cody Ramsey
3. Zac Lomax
4. Moses Suli
5. Mikaele Ravalawa
6. Jayden Sullivan
7. Ben Hunt (c)
8. Josh Kerr
9. Andrew McCullough
10. Jack de Belin
11. Jaydn Su’A
12. Tariq Sims
13. Jack Bird
14. Moses Mbye
15. Francis Molo
16. Jackson Ford
17. Blake Lawrie

Others: Tyrell Fuimaono, Aaron Woods, Josh McGuire, Jack Gosiewski, Talatau Amone, Daniel Alvaro, Billy Burns, Mat Feagai, Max Feagai, Jaiyden Hunt, Poasa Faamausili, George Burgess

(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Rabbitohs

Key spots to unlock:
Replacing Adam Reynolds at halfback is new coach Jason Demetriou’s main selection conundrum. Lachlan Ilias is likely to get first crack while Blake Taaffe continues filling in at fullback for suspended star Latrell Mitchell. Centre is another problem area following Dane Gagai’s exit to Newcastle with winger Jaxson Paulo in line to move closer to the action.

Round 1 predicted team

1. Blake Taaffe
2. Alex Johnston
3. Jaxson Paulo
4. Campbell Graham
5. Josh Mansour
6. Cody Walker
7. Lachlan Ilias
8. Mark Nicholls
9. Damien Cook
10. Tevita Tatola
11. Keaon Koloamatangi
12. Jai Arrow
13. Cameron Murray
14. Hame Sele
15. Jacob Host
16. Liam Knight
17. Thomas Burgess

Others: Latrell Mitchell (suspended until Round 3), Taane Milne, Michael Chee Kam, Siliva Havili, Jed Cartwright, Peter Mamouzelos, Zane Bijorac, Terrell Kalo Kalo, Davvy Moale, Isaiah Tass

Roosters

Key spots to unlock:
Luke Keary’s return will mean a shoot-out between precocious playmaker Sam Walker and the much-improved Drew Hutchison to be his halves partner. Trent Robinson will likely find room for Joseph Suaalii in the backs, probably at centre now Josh Morris has hung up his boots.

Round 1 predicted team

1. James Tedesco
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Joseph Suaalii
4. Joseph Manu
5. Paul Momirovski
6. Luke Keary
7. Sam Walker
8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
9. Ben Marschke
10. Siosiua Taukeiaho
11. Sitili Tupouniua
12. Angus Crichton
13. Victor Radley
14. Connor Watson
15. Fletcher Baker
16. Lindsay Collins
17. Nat Butcher

Others: Sam Verrills (suspended until Round 2), Renouf Atoni, Egan Butcher, Moala Graham-Taufa, Drew Hutchison, Adam Keighran, Lachlan Lam, Freddy Lussick, Billy Smith, Daniel Suluka-Fifita, Tuku Hau Tapuha, Ben Thomas, Naufahu Whyte

Tigers

Key spots to unlock:
Five-eighth is vacant with Adam Doueihi rehabbing his torn ACL and Jackson Hastings is set to assume the No.6 jersey in his return from the Super League. With Joey Leilua long gone, Oliver Gildart also gets a chance after jetting in from the UK at centre.

Round 1 predicted team

1. Daine Laurie
2. David Nofoaluma
3. Starford Toa
4. Oliver Gildart
5. Ken Maumalo
6. Jackson Hastings
7. Luke Brooks
8. James Tamou
9. Jacob Liddle
10. Stefano Utoikamanu
11. Luciano Leilua
12. Shawn Blore
13. Alex Twal
14. Tyrone Peachey
15. Thomas Mikaele
16. Luke Garner
17. Joe Ofahengaue

Others: Adam Doueihi, Reece Hoffman, William Kei, Asu Kepaoa, Jock Madden, Alex Seyfarth, Jake Simpkin, Tuki Simpkins, Kelma Tuilagi, Junior Tupou, Zane Musgrove, Tommy Talau

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