The long awaited has finally arrived, and if you haven’t realised yet, we’re thrilled to see the kickoffs this 2022 NRL season.
We’ve covered it all, looking into each of the 16 clubs and analysing what’s new and improved from last season.
Brisbane will be entering another pre-season with head coach Kevin Walters with some key signings under their belt. This 2022 season will see them competing for a spot in the finals given signs of improvement since last year are at their advantage. Adam Reynolds will be the captain of this season and has been signed on for the long haul. Ryan James and Kurt Capewell will be moving on to Red Hill.
Last season saw disruption as a result of drama, the 2022 footy season will see the Canberra Raiders hoping to make it to the finals.
The last year saw Ricky Stuart faced with some challenges, with the drama further highlighted by George Williams leaving as a result of supposedly falling out with Josh Hodgson. Big shots of the Raiders also struggled with form and injury over the year.
This 2022 season will see a renewed Canberra Raiders with most drama resolved – mainly finding a good halfback after signing on Titans Jamal Fogarty. The recruitment of Adam Elliot and the return of Nick Cotric will definitely spice things up this year.
One of the main headlines of the 2022 season, the Bulldogs certainly have attracted high interest in the recruitment drive. There are plenty of new faces in the team, but with Phil as footy manager, there won’t be too much concern in getting the new teammates to jive.
Cronulla has seen some big deals happen and a new head coach will be taking the reins this 2022 season. There’s lots of confidence this year, with Craig Fitzgibbon as coach and Nicho Hynes, Dale Finucane and Cameron McInnes adding to the skill set.
Gold Coast Titans
The Titans managed to break through a finals drought in 2021, making this 2022 season a much anticipated one. The team this year will be relying on the younger players given the departure of Jamal Fogarty, Ash Taylor, Tyrone Peachey and Mitch Rein.
Manly Sea Eagles
There won’t be any major changes for Manly going into 2022, as they aim to improve last year’s deep finals attempt.
Melbourne Storm saw premiership winning stars Nicho Hynes, Josh Addo-Carr and Dale Finucane leave over the summer and are preparing their farewells to Jesse and Kenny Bromwich and Brandon Smith, who have signed deals with other clubs for 2023. Nevertheless, things are still as exciting as Melbourne has proven for over a decade that changes don’t seem to hurt the team.
A test of character for players of Newcastle Knights, Kalyn Ponga will step into the role of attacker given veteran halfback Mitchell Pearce’s departure. Losing captain Jayden Brailey from an achilles injury has also pushed Adam O’Brien in the limelight.
North Queensland Cowboys
The Cowboys are heading into the 2022 season with teeth grinding as they open a new chapter into their rebuild. Ranked the worst defensive outfit last season, the new year puts the pressure on Todd Payten’s side. Additional key pieces have been added to the mix, including game manager Chad Townsend.
Renowned for being a finals team four out of the last five seasons, the Parramatta Eels haven’t had anything to show for their finals presence. This season will bear the question of them breaking that limbo.
2021 saw the breakthrough premiership won by the Penrith Panthers thanks to a talented young roster, which will largely remain the same for 2022. Pressure is on Ivan Cleary to keep the fire burning, while players Nathan Cleary, Brian To’o and Jarome Luai have been on great highs.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
The new season will see the Rabbitohs experience new beginnings from new coach, new halfback and new captain above the departures of Dane Gagai, Adam Reynolds, Benji Marshall and Wayne Bennett.
St. George Illawarra Dragons
2022 could be an exciting season for Dragons fans, with plenty of muscle added to the forward pack. Anthony Griffin will see his second year as coach, signing the likes of Aaron Woods, Francis Molo, Moses Suli and Jaydn Su’A, to name a few.
One of the clear favourites for the title, the Roosters have seen a changing of the guard as Boyd Cordner, Brett and Josh Morris, and Jake Friend have left the team. Nevertheless, there’s plenty of young exciting talent coming through, including Trent Robinson, Luke Keary and Lindsay Collins.
New Zealand Warriors
Back again for more action, the Warriors will welcome the return of Shaun Johnson this year. With plenty of point scoring abilities, the thrill of the game falls on whether Nathan Brown can push the team into the finals this year.
Probably the team under the most pressure as a result of their 2021 campaign, coach Michael Maguire is on a countdown to deliver results. Former premiership winning coach Tim Sheens has been brought onboard to act as an advisor and to help the club rediscover its identity in the finals. Exciting signings of Tyrone Peachey and Jackson Hastings will spice up their game this 2022 season.
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Photo Credit: NRL