Squads: Roosters, Eels, Broncos and Bulldogs
Mitchell Pearce, Jake Friend, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Aidan Guerra, Kane Evans, Daniel Tupou, Samisoni Langi, Jackson Hastings, Dylan Napa, Isaac Liu, Nene Macdonald, Jonathon Rueben, Paul Rokolati, Rhyse Martin, Saulala Houma, Siosiua Taukeiaho, Brad Fittler
Willie Tonga, Kenny Edwards, Bureta Faraimo, John Folau, Manu Ma’u, Fuifui Moimoi, Ryan Morgan, Corey Norman, Pauli Pauli, Joseph Paulo, Nathan Peats, Api Pewhairangi, Semi Radradra, Chris Sandow, Ken Sio, Peni Terepo, Vai Toutai
Ben Barba, Josh Hoffman, Dale Copley, Alex Glenn, Stewart Mills, Kodi Nikorima, Ben Hunt, Martin Kennedy, Andrew McCullough, Sam Thaiday, Matt Gillett, Jordan Drew, Corey Parker, David Stagg, Todd Lowrie, Zac Strasser, Joe Ofahengaue, Jake Granville
Sam Perrett, Mitch Brown, Chase Stanley, Tyrone Phillips, Ed Murphy, Moses Mbye, Drury Low, Tim Browne, Michael Ennis, Dale Finucane, Josh Jackson, Tony Williams, Pat O’Hanlon, Lachlan Burr, Corey Thompson, Lloyd Perrett
Current NRL Premiers Sydney Roosters welcome back club legend Brad Fittler for the tournament. Now aged 42 and with ten seasons out of the game, Fittler will struggle with the pace of the game, but will give Roosters fans another trip down memory lane with his return. The Roosters will be relying on Mitchell Pearce, Jake Friend, Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Aidan Guerra. Dylan Napa, Daniel Tupou and Kane Evans represent the youthfulness in the squad. They will battle it out with the Dogs for a quarter-finals berth.
Parramatta start their post-Ricky Stuart era with a reasonable side that might push the likes of Sydney Roosters and the Bulldogs in this group. A lot of the Eels chances are on the shoulders of Corey Norman after his move from Brisbane. There’s no denying the kid has talent but will need to be at his best to get his new club to the next stage of this competition. Willie Tonga, Ryan Morgan and Ken Sio are part of a decent backline. Chris Sandow makes a return to the top level with Eels fans hoping he can start repaying the club starting this weekend. This group might be a little tough for the club without Jarryd Hayne’s services.
Brisbane have stated their intentions quite clear by naming a strong line-up at this event. Headlined by Ben Barba in his first official outing with the club. The interest will be in game four of the tournament when he faces his former club Canterbury. Josh Hoffman and Dale Copley are joined by new recruit Stewart Mills in a formidable backline. Alex Glenn and Matt Gillett provide flexibility in the forwards. The Broncos would be extremely unlucky not to progress to the final eight. Read more about the Broncos with Paul Savage’s preview here.
Canterbury round out the group with a mixture of experience and no-names. Sam Perrett looks the most likely to put the points on for the Dogs. Perrett will be joined by Drury Low, Mitch Brown and Chase Stanley in a good backline. Watch out for Josh Jackson to dominate for the Bulldogs in this format with his versatility, strength and good pace for a forward. It’s likely their game with the Roosters will decide which of the two teams make the next stage.
Brisbane look certain to take out the pool and expect the Dogs and Roosters to fight out for the other place in the knockout stage.
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