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Best Buys For The 2022 NRL Season

Ahead of the new NRL season we look at which players will prove to be the best off-season buys.

Related: 2022 NRL Squads and Player Movements

Adam Reynolds

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From: South Sydney Rabbitohs
To: Brisbane Broncos

The Brisbane Broncos have moved in the right direction since Ben Ikin joined the back office as head of football. Adam Reynolds is a key signing to bolster the experience around the halves after the failure of Brodie Croft to accelerate his career at the Broncos. Reynolds has received a setback on the eve of the NRL season with complaints the halfback has “general soreness” and will be monitored ahead of playing against his former club, South Sydney in the opening game of the Broncos season.

Kurt Capewell

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From: Penrith Panthers
To: Brisbane Broncos

Kurt Capewell returns to where it all began back in 2012 where he was part of the Brisbane Broncos Under 20’s side. Fresh off a premiership with the Panthers, Capewell should slot straight into the second row. He will play an important role in the leadership of the forward pack which is coming along nicely with Payne Haas having the ability to cause damage in attack and Patrick Carrigan who is a workhorse in defence.

Nick Cotric

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From: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
To: Canberra Raiders

It’s set to be a happy homecoming for Nick Cotric after a disrupted 2021 campaign with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. He probably comes straight into the Raiders 2022 side at the expense of Semi Valemei who still is raw at NRL level. Cotric knows the Ricky Stuart’s game plan and will score at a high rate like he did in his first stint at the club where he crossed 46 times in 93 matches.

Matt Burton

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From: Penrith Panthers
To: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Matt Burton is an excellent gain for the Bulldogs. He added versatility to his game in 2021 showing that not only is he a credible five-eighth with an excellent kicking game, but he’s more than capable to play in the backline. The key for the Bulldogs is that at the start of his career, Burton showed he could game manage without having the more established Nathan Cleary in the Panthers side. While his halves partner may not be so set, Burton will be ready from game 1 to provide a meaningful contribution to his new club.

Josh Addo-Carr

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From: Melbourne Storm
To: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Along with Matt Burton, former Melbourne Storm flyer Josh Addo-Carr joins the Bulldogs in 2022. Having crossed the tryscoring century mark last season, Addo-Carr is the most experience back at the club and will come under target from his opponents who will try to limit his attacking chances. He is keen to move away from his ‘comfort zone’ being part of a successful team at Melbourne and help the Bulldogs turn around their fortunes.

Related: Back to the Future – Players Homeward Bound in 2022

Tevita Pangai Junior

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From: Penrith Panthers
To: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Tevita Pangai Junior may end up being the best buy of the 2022 National Rugby League season. After a troubled end to his Broncos career, he seemed focused at the premiership winning Penrith Panthers for his short tenure at the back end of last season. Should Pangai Junior be able to continue down that path, he could return to being one of the most destructive forwards in the competition. Finally, it feels like Luke Thompson and Josh Jackson have some allies up front in Pangai Junior and Paul Vaughan to do the hard yards.

Paul Vaughan

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From: St George-Illawarra Dragons
To: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Paul Vaughan was given a lifeline by the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs following the Covid breach affectionately known as “barbecue gate” that saw him sacked by the Dragons, suspended for eight matches, and fined $50,000. With 181 career games under his belt, Vaughan will add value to a Bulldogs pack which looks much better on paper in 2022. Surely, he slots straight into the starting thirteen with Luke Thompson his prop partner.

Ethan Bullemor

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From: Brisbane Broncos
To: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

If Tevita Pangai Junior ends up being the best buy for 2022, Ethan Bullemor would be the best long-term prospect of the players on the move. On a two-year contract, Bullemor’s career will flourish under the watchful eye of Des Hasler. The twenty-one-year-old has 25 games under his belt with the Brisbane Broncos and has showed plenty of promise in his short career. His ability to bust tackles and the way he stepped past Stephen Crichton to score last year showed he has the assets to be a solid modern day rugby league forward.

Nick Meaney

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From: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
To: Melbourne Storm

Nick Meaney moves from the cellar dwellers to competition heavyweights Melbourne Storm in 2022. The Lismore product was one of the shining lights in an otherwise disappointing year for the Bulldogs. Whether he earns the right to start in the Storms’ run-on side is debatable given Ryan Papenhuyzen will fill the fullback role and Xavier Coates addition from Brisbane Broncos should see him start on the wing. If he becomes a regular in the HostPlus QLD Cup, Meaney’s tenure at the club could be short, sharp and sweet. He has too much potential not to be given a regular opportunity in the top grade.

Shaun Johnson

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From: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
To: New Zealand Warriors

Shaun Johnson’s return to the Warriors is a trip down memory lane which will hopefully see him reunited with the New Zealand rugby league public at some point this year. With over 200 NRL games and 32 Kiwi caps under his belt, he’s just the player the club needs to spark an exciting backline which has arguably the brightest young talent in the competition in fullback Reece Walsh. This gives Nathan Brown some hope that the Warriors can make the NRL Finals for the first time since 2018.

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  1. Best Buys For The 2022 NRL Season – NRL Breaking News

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