The Brisbane Broncos have recruited nicely for season 2017 but have lost longtime lock Corey Parker and rising front rower Jarrod Wallace to the Titans.
Mastermind coach Wayne Bennett has signed Benji Marshall which has resulted in a fair bit of criticism, particularly with Benji reported to make the transition from the halves to the centres.
The addition of Titans back David Mead is a quality purchase and will help replace Jack Reed who has retired due to a shoulder injury.
Mead is tipped to earn a spot on the Broncos right flank.
1. Who replaces Corey Parker at lock?
Alex Glenn. Alex is a Kiwi international who is a leader in the Broncos pack and has publicly stated he would be keen on moving from the edge to the middle.
The lack of depth at prop means Josh McGuire will miss out on the No.13 while Jai Arrow and Tevita Pangai need more game time.
2. Who replaces Jack Reed at left centre?
Jordan Kahu. Jordan showcased his ability as a centre during the finals and is a solid defender. He will also become the first choice goal kicker in 2017 too.
3. Will the signing of Benji Marshall be justified?
Yes, if he can grab a centre spot over Jordan Kahu. If he can’t then Wayne Bennett would have made a mistake signing the former Kiwis skipper.
Benji failed to fire at the Dragons in 2016 with the veteran claiming he missed running the ball and got to caught up being a ball player.
4. Who captains the side?
Darius Boyd. Darius returned to top form in 2016 and became Australia’s first choice fullback.
Regarded as the best ball playing fullback in the NRL, Darius was outstanding in 2016 with try assists and was also a danger when running the ball himself.
It will be interesting to see if Billy Slater can reclaim his representative fullback spot back in 2017.
5. Can Ben Hunt fire?
Yes. Hunt was solid in 2016 but was never as good as he was in 2015.
Sure, his try assists were up but he started running the ball less, missing more tackles and had poor last tackle options.
He has been rumoured to leave to Parramatta but there have also been reports of him re-signing with the Broncos until the end of 2020.
Predicted Round 1 Team List
1 Darius Boyd (c)
2 Corey Oates
3 Jordan Kahu
4 James Roberts
5 David Mead
6 Anthony Milford
7 Ben Hunt
8 Josh McGuire
9 Andrew McCullough
10 Adam Blair
11 Sam Thaiday
12 Matt Gillett
13 Alex Glenn
14 Mitchell Dodds
15 Tevita Pangai
16 Jai Arrow
17 Kodi Nikorima
Benji Marshall (St George Illawarra Dragons NRL)
David Mead (Gold Coast Titans NRL)
Mitchell Dodds (Warrington Wolves SL)
Tautau Moga (North Queensland Cowboys NRL)
Moses Pangai (Townsville Blackhawks ISC)
Mitchell Cronin (Wynnum Manly Seagulls ISC)
Matiu Love-Henry (Norths Devils ISC)
Jarrod Wallace (Gold Coast Titans NRL)
Lachlan Maranta (Queensland Reds)
Greg Eden (Castleford Tigers SL)
Darren Nicholls (Penrith Panthers ISP)
Aaron Whitchurch (Redcliffe Dolphins ISC)
Carlin Anderson (Townsville Blackhawks ISC)
Jayden Berrell (Wynnum Manly Seagulls ISC)
Lindsay Collins (Sydney Roosters NRL)
Elijah Alick (Released)
Corey Parker, Jack Reed (Retirement)