Predicted teams: NRL Round 1 starting line-ups

We've analysed every NRL squad to predict the starting 17 at each club for round 1 of the 2024 season.


The NRL pre-season is well underway for 2024.

To help put together our NRL Supercoach teams, I’ve predicted the starting 17 of every team for Round 1.

Throughout the pre-season we’ll learn more about the likely make-up of each club every day, and when that news comes through I’ll update the predicted teams accordingly.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section at the bottom of the page if you disagree with any selections or if you have any questions around my picks.

Here’s how I see each squad lining up for round 1, 2024.

Last updated: 22/02/24

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Brisbane Broncos predicted team – As announced

1. Reece Walsh
2. Jesse Arthars
3. Selwyn Cobbo
4. Kotoni Staggs
5. Deine Mariner
6. Ezra Mam
7. Adam Reynolds
8. Corey Jensen
9. Billy Walters
10. Payne Haas
11. Jordan Riki
12. Brendan Piakura
13. Patrick Carrigan

14. Tyson Smoothy
15. Fletcher Baker
16. Kobe Hetherington
17. Xavier Willison (Marty Taupau)



As per Tuesday’s announcement, Deine Mariner was a surprise selection on the wing over Corey Oates.

Brendan Piakura has been named and is firming to play after a pre-season injury concern.

Xavier Willison has been named on the bench, although reports were circulating before the team dropped that Martin Taupau was going to get the nod ahead of him, so monitor this space as it still appears as though Taupau will replace him.

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Canberra Raiders predicted team

1. Jordan Rapana
2. Xavier Savage
3. Matt Timoko
4. James Schiller
5. Albert Hopoate
6. Ethan Strange
7. Jamal Fogarty
8. Ata Mariota
9. Danny Levi
10. Joseph Tapine
11. Elliott Whitehead
12. Hudson Young
13. Morgan Smithies

14. Tom Starling
15. Emre Guler
16. Josh Papali’i
17. Zac Hosking

Unavailable: Corey Horsburgh (suspension, round 3), Seb Kris (suspension, round 2), Corey Harawira-Naera (health)


Jordan Rapana appears to have won the race over boom rookie Chevy Stewart for the starting fullback role.

This should open a spot on the wing for Xavier Savage, with Nic Cotric also a chance.

With Seb Kris suspended for round 1, James Schiller is likely to start at centre.

Ethan Strange may have jumped Kaeo Weekes for the starting five-eighth spot alongside Jamal Fogarty in the halves.

Danny Levi will likely edge out Zac Woolford at hooker, with Tom Starling playing off the bench.

With Corey Horsburgh suspended early in the season, English recruit Morgan Smithies is expected to start at lock.

Smithies will have a few games to prove he’s worth keeping in the starting team when Horsburgh returns.

If Smithies does so, it’d see Horsburgh play up front, likely pushing Mariota to the bench.

Penrith recruit Zac Hosking is likely to nab a bench spot, with Josh Papali’i also a chance to play off the bench this season.

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Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs predicted team

1. Blake Taaffe
2. Josh Addo-Carr
3. Jacob Kiraz
4. Stephen Crichton
5. Blake Wilson
6. Matt Burton
7. Drew Hutchinson
8. Max King
9. Reed Mahoney
10. Liam Knight
11. Jacob Preston
12. Viliame Kikau
13. Jaeman Salmon

14. Kurt Mann
15. Poasa Faamausili
16. Josh Curran
17. Sam Hughes

Unavailable: Karl Oloapu (neck), Ryan Sutton (early season)


The make-up of the backline remains a little up in the air leading into the trial period.

Blake Taaffe and Connor Tracey are likely vying for the fullback role, with Stephen Crichton preferred at centre.

Tracey is pushing to return from injury, which is likely to be at centre if cleared. Jacob Kiraz could shift there also, with Blake Wilson on the wing.

Bronson Xerri has impressed in the pre-season and may return via NSW Cup after fours years out of the game, but could push his way into the team after solid trial performances.

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Toby Sexton looks to have been edged out as the front-runner to start at halfback, with Roosters recruit Drew Hutchinson impressing at his new club.

The forward pack largely picks itself, although strong trial performances has recruit Jaeman Salmon edging towards starting at lock over fellow recruit Josh Curran.

Sam Hughes has impressed throughout the pre-season and is firming for a bench spot for round 1, potentially even a starting berth.

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Cronulla Sharks predicted team

1. Will Kennedy
2. Sione Katoa
3. Jesse Ramien
4. Siosifa Talakai
5. Ronaldo Mulitalo
6. Braydon Trindall
7. Nicho Hynes
8. Braden Hamlin-Uele
9. Blayke Brailey
10. Toby Rudolf
11. Briton Nikora
12. Teig Wilton
13. Dale Finucane

14. Cameron McInnes
15. Royce Hunt
16. Tom Hazelton 
17. Jack Williams



A team that largely picks itself, with the big question being around Siosifa Talakai set to start at centre over rookie Kayal Iro.

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Dolphins predicted team

1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
2. Jack Bostock
3. Herbie Farnworth
4. Tesi Niu
5. Jamayne Isaako
6. Isaiya Katoa
7. Sean O’Sullivan
8. Tom Flegler
9. Jeremy Marshall-King
10. Jesse Bromwich
11. Felise Kaufusi
12. Connelly Lemuelu
13. Kenny Bromwich

14. Kodi Nikorima
15. Jarrod Wallace
16. Euan Aitken
17. Mark Nicholls 

Unavailable: Tom Gilbert (ACL, season)


The way the pre-season has played out, it wouldn’t shock to see recruit Jake Averillo miss the starting team.

Jack Bostock is firming to start on the wing, while Tesi Niu could well start at centre alongside Herbie Farnworth on the other edge.

The devastating ACL injury to Tom Gilbert is likely to see Kenny Bromwich move to lock, and Connelly Lemuelu start on the edge.

The race for the starting five-eighth spot remains uncertain between Isaiya Katoa and Kodi Nikorima.

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Gold Coast Titans predicted team

1. Keano Kini
2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira
3. AJ Brimson
4. Brian Kelly
5. Phillip Sami
6. Kieran Foran
7. Tanah Boyd
8. Moeaki Fotuaika
9. Sam Verrills
10. Keenan Palasia
11. Beau Fermor
12. Jacob Alick
13. Tino Fa’asuamalaeaui

14. Erin Clark
15. Jaimin Jolliffe
16. Isaac Liu 
17. Klese Haas

Unavailable: David Fifita (pec, round 4/5), Jayden Campbell (patella, round 4/5)


AJ Brimson will shift to centre this season to accommodate Jayden Campbell starting at fullback when he returns from injury.

Campbell is reportedly out until round 4 or 5, which will see Keano Kini start at fullback.

Beau Fermor returns from a lengthy injury lay-off on the left edge while David Fifita is out.

Fifita is out until around about round 4 or 5, with Jacob Alick or Klese Haas likely to start on the edge in his place.

There is a question mark on the bench and whether or not Des Hasler opts for a utility back or another forward in Iszac Fa’asuamaleaui?

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Manly Warringah Sea Eagles predicted team – As announced

1. Tom Trbojevic
2. Jaxson Paulo
3. Reuben Garrick
4. Tolutau Koula
5. Jason Saab
6. Luke Brooks
7. Daly Cherry-Evans
8. Josh Aloiai
9. Lachlan Croker
10. Taniela Paseka
11. Haumole Olakau’atu
12. Ben Trbojevic
13. Jake Trbojevic

14. Karl Lawton
15. Corey Waddell
16. Ethan Bullemor
17. Nathan Brown

Unavailable: Matt Lodge (knee, round 5), Toafofoa Sipley (suspension), Josh Schuster (injured)


As per Tuesday’s announcement, Ben Trbojevic has been named to start on the edge with Josh Schuster not travelling to Vegas.

Corey Waddell has been named on the bench which may impact Ben Trbojevic’s minutes.

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Melbourne Storm predicted team

1. Ryan Papenhuyzen
2. Xavier Coates
3. Nick Meaney
4. Reimis Smith
5. Will Warbrick
6. Cameron Munster
7. Jahrome Hughes
8. Christian Welch
9. Harry Grant
10. Tui Kamikamica
11. Shawn Blore
12. Eli Katoa
13. Josh King

14. Bronson Garlick
15. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
16. Trent Loiero
17. Sua Fa’alogo



Provided Ryan Papenhuyzen is cleared for take off, the backline picks itself with Nick Meaney shifting to centre in place of the departed Justin Olam.

Recruit Shawn Blore may start on the edge, however Kane Bradley was the preferred option in the trial win over the Knights.

Trent Loiero has made the move to the middle this season.

The final bench spot will depend if Craig Bellamy opts for a utility back in exciting rookie Sua Fa’alogo or another forward.

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Newcastle Knights predicted team

1. Kalyn Ponga
2. Greg Marzhew
3. Bradman Best
4. Dane Gagai
5. Enari Tuala
6. Tyson Gamble
7. Jackson Hastings
8. Daniel Saifiti
9. Phoenix Crossland
10. Jacob Saifiti
11. Tyson Frizell
12. Dylan Lucas
13. Adam Elliott

14. Jack Cogger
15. Leo Thompson
16. Kai Pearce-Paul
17. Jack Hetherington

Unavailable: Jayden Brailey (injured, early rounds)


Enari Tuala is expected replace Dom Young on the wing, while Penrith recruit Tom Jenkins will also compete for the spot.

Jackson Hastings will start at halfback, likely alongside Tyson Gamble, however Penrith recruit Jack Cogger will heap pressure on the pair throughout the pre-season.

With Jayden Brailey unlikely for round 1 due to injury, Phoenix Crossland likely starts at hooker which could also see Cogger play off the bench.

Dylan Lucas is likely to start on the left edge in place of the departed Lachlan Fitzgibbon.

He’ll be under pressure from English recruit Kai Pearce-Paul who will likely spell him at some stage.

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New Zealand Warriors predicted team

1. Taine Tuaupiki
2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
3. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
4. Rocco Berry
5. Marcelo Montoya
6. Luke Metcalf
7. Shaun Johnson
8. Addin Fonua-Blake
9. Wayde Egan
10. Mitch Barnett
11. Kurt Capewell
12. Jackson Ford
13. Tohu Harris

14. Dylan Walker
15. Marata Niukore
16. Bunty Afoa
17. Jazz Tevaga

Unavailable: Demitric Sifakula (knee, mid-season), Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (hamstring)


Roger Tuivasa-Sheck returns to the Warriors as a centre.

Rocco Berry is expected to edge out impressive rookie Ali Leiataua at right centre.

With Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad injured, Taine Tuaupiki is tipped to start at fullback, although RTS remains a chance after spending time there during the trials.

Luke Metcalf looks likely to get first crack at the five-eighth role ahead of Te Maire Martin and Chanel Harris-Tavita.

Kurt Capewell’s arrival is likely to push Marata Niukore to the bench.

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North Queensland Cowboys predicted team

1. Scott Drinkwater
2. Murray Taulagi
3. Valentine Holmes
4. Zac Laybutt
5. Semi Valemei
6. Tom Dearden
7. Chad Townsend
8. Jordan McLean
9. Reece Robson
10. Jason Taumalolo
11. Heilum Luki
12. Jeremiah Nanai
13. Reuben Cotter

14. Jake Granville
15. Griffin Neame
16. Thomas Mikaele
17. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki

Unavailable: Jamayne Taunoa-Brown (knee, mid-season), Coen Hess (knee, season)


Zac Laybutt appears to have edged out Warriors recruit Viliami Vailea to replace Peta Hiku at centre.

With Coen Hess injured, impressive rookie Kulikefu Finefeuiaki may jag a spot on the bench alongside trial standout Thomas Mikaele.

Luciano Leilua has signed with the Dragons, locking Heilum Luki into the left edge back-row spot.

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Parramatta Eels predicted team

1. Clint Gutherson
2. Haze Dunster
3. Will Penisini
4. Bailey Simonsson
5. Sean Russell
6. Dylan Brown
7. Mitchell Moses
8. Junior Paulo
9. Joey Lussick
10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard
11. Shaun Lane
12. Bryce Cartwright
13. J’maine Hopgood

14. Kelma Tuilagi
15. Joe Ofahengaue
16. Ryan Matterson
17. Wiremu Greig

Unavailable: Maika Sivo (suspension, round 4), Bailey Simonsson (hamstring)


Maika Sivo (suspension) is unavailable to start the season, while Bailey Simonsson remains in doubt with a hamstring issue, and it’s anyone’s guess as to who replaces them.

Daejarn Asi, Blaize Talagi, Morgan Harper and Haze Dunster are all in the running.

The starting pack pretty picks itself, with Brad Arthur hinting he’ll run with just one hooker this season.

Recruit Kelma Tuilagi may sneak his way onto bench for round 1 after impressive trial performances.

Brendan Hands or Joey Lussick could get the starting hooker role, with Lussick preferred in the second trial clash.

Wiremu Grieg is also in doubt for round 1 due to injury.

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Penrith Panthers predicted team

1. Dylan Edwards
2. Brian To’o
3. Taylan May
4. Izack Tago
5. Sunia Turuva
6. Jarome Luai
7. Nathan Cleary
8. Moses Leota
9. Mitch Kenny
10. James Fisher-Harris
11. Scott Sorensen
12. Liam Martin
13. Isaah Yeo

14. Tyrone Peachey
15. Lindsay Smith
16. Luke Garner
17. Matt Eisenhuth

Unavailable: Sunia Turuva (injured)


Taylan May is likely to make the shift to centre on return from a lengthy ACL lay-off, with Sunia Turuva remaining on the wing.

Turuva was injured during the World Club Challenge but is pushing to be available for round 1.

The squad pretty well picks itself, with the only major question mark around the bench utility role.

Tyrone Peachey is my pick, however Soni Luke is every chance to regain the spot he lost late in the season, while Daine Laurie is also an outside chance on return to the club.

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St. George Illawarra Dragons team

1. Tyrell Sloan
2. Zac Lomax
3. Moses Suli
4. Jack Bird
5. Mikaele Ravalawa
6. Kyle Flanagan
7. Ben Hunt 
8. Hame Sele
9. Jacob Liddle
10. Blake Lawrie
11. Jaydn Su’A
12. Tom Eisenhuth
13. Jack de Belin

14. Connor Muhleisen
15. Francis Molo
16. Michael Molo
17. Raymond Faitala-Mariner

Unavailable: Corey Allan (knee, season), Luciano Leilua (suspension, round 3)


Jack Bird’s move to centre is set to have numerous implications on the backline.

Zac Lomax moves to the wing, with Tyrell Sloan remaining at fullback after a strong performance in the trial win over the Tigers.

Luciano Leilua isn’t available until round three, meaning Tom Eisenhuth should start until that point.

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Leilua will start on one edge, with Jaydn Su’a on the other.

Jacob Liddle will start at nine and probably have to share the role with Connor Muhleisen.

If Liddle can get through 80 they can pick another bench forward or utility back, but with his injury history they will likely need the rotation.

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South Sydney Rabbitohs predicted team – As announced

1. Latrell Mitchell 
2. Alex Johnston
3. Isaiah Tass
4. Richie Kennar
5. Jacob Gagai
6. Cody Walker
7. Lachlan Ilias
8. Sean Keppie
9. Damien Cook
10. Tevita Tatola
11. Keaon Koloamatangi
12. Jai Arrow
13. Cameron Murray

14. Siliva Havili
15. Jacob Host
16. Davvy Moale 
17. Tom Burgess

Unavailable: Jack Wighton (suspension, round 3), Daniel Suluka-Fifita (ACL, mid-season), Ben Lovett (knee, mid-season), Campbell Graham (sternum, long-term), Tyrone Munro (shoulder, round 4)


As announced on Tuesday, Latrell Mitchell, Alex Johnston, Isaiah Tass, Richie Kennar and Jacob Gagai make up a new-look back five.

Jai Arrow starts on the edge, with Jacob Host beating out Tallis Duncan for a bench spot.

Peter Mamouzelos missed the bench, with Siliva Havili preferred as the 14.

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Sydney Roosters predicted team – As announced

1. James Tedesco
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Joseph Manu
4. Billy Smith
5. Joseph Suaalii
6. Luke Keary 
7. Sam Walker
8. Spencer Leniu
9. Brandon Smith
10. Lindsay Collins
11. Siua Wong
12. Sitili Tupouniua
13. Victor Radley

14. Sandon Smith
15. Naufahu Whyte
16. Nat Butcher
17. Terrell May

Unavailable: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (suspension, round 3), Dom Young (neck, round 2)


As announced on Tuesday, Spencer Leniu starts at prop, with Terrell May on the bench.

Siua Wong and Sitili Tupouniua win the starting edge roles, with Nat Butcher pushed to the bench.

Sandon Smith wins the utility bench role, with Angus Crichton and Connor Watson both missing the team.

Dom Young is out due to injury.

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Wests Tigers predicted team

1. Jahream Bula
2. Charlie Staines
3. Starford Toa
4. Justin Olam
5. Junior Tupou
6. Jayden Sullivan
7. Aidan Sezer
8. David Klemmer
9. Api Koroisau
10. Stefano Utoikamanu
11. John Bateman
12. Isaiah Papali’i
13. Fonua Pole

14. Asu Kepaoa
15. Alex Twal
16. Alex Seyfarth
17. Samuela Fainu

Unavailable: Adam Doueihi (knee, mid-season)


Plenty of unknowns remain around the Tigers best 17 to start the season.

Recruit Justin Olam and Starford Toa will likely start in the centres, with Junior Tupou and Charlie Staines on the wings.

Jayden Sullivan and Aidan Sezer are likely to start the season as a new-look halves pairing for the Tigers.

Young gun Lachlan Galvin held his own in the trial loss to the Dragons, it wouldn’t shock to see his name pop up on the team sheet for their first game in round 2.

Fonua Pole is likely to start at lock, although they could opt for Alex Seyfarth.

If Api Koroisau is utilised as an 80-minute man it’ll free up a bench spot in 2024.

If he enters into a hooking rotation as we’ve seen at stages in the past, Jake Simpkin and Tallyn Da Silva will compete for the No.14 jumper.

Alex Twal will lock in one bench spot, while the remaining positions are up for grabs between a number of contenders, including recruit Samuela Fainu.

9 Responses to “Predicted teams: NRL Round 1 starting line-ups”

  1. In regard to the Eels, at this stage Morgan Harper is slightly ahead for the left centre spot. Kelma Tuilagi is incredibly unlikely to not be on the bench rd1. Currently looking like it will come down to Hands vs Greig for the final bench spot

  2. Hi Tim/team, really appreciate this article however is it possible to time-stamp any updates to the article/teams (even better would be to mention what was changed however that would probably be a bit much)? For example this article was posted 18/01 and if it was updated today an extra line saying “updated 26/01” would be super helpful.

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