With the 2017 NRL season not far away we thought we would examine the gains and losses of each club and assess if they are winners or losers from the player transfer merry-go-round;
Ins: Moses Pangai (Townsville Blackhawks), David Mead (Titans), Tautau Moga (Cowboys), Benji Marshall (Dragons), Mitchell Dodds (Warrington)
Outs: Greg Eden (Castleford), Brett Greinke (Rabbitohs), Corey Parker (retirement), Jarrod Wallace (Titans), Jack Reed (retirement), Carlin Anderson (Cowboys), Darren Nicholls (Panthers), Lachlan Maranta (rugby union)
LOSER – Corey Parker will be a big loss for the Broncos. There is speculation that Benji Marshall will play in the centres… has Wayne Bennett lost his mind?
Ins: Jordan Turner (St Helens), Dunamis Lui (Dragons), Makahesi Makatoa (Bulldogs), Scott Sorensen (Mounties), Brent Naden (Mounties)
Outs: Lachlan Lewis (Bulldogs), Sisa Waqa (rugby union), Zac Woolford (Bulldogs), Sam Williams (Wakefield), Brenko Lee (Bulldogs), Paul Vaughan (Dragons)
LOSER – Ricky Stuart has had success in the past with signing English players to the Raiders. Maybe it’s the climate? Ricky will be hoping for success again with the signing of former St Helens player, Jordan Tuner. The quality of players lost by the Raiders this season far outweighs the gains.
Ins: Zac Woolford (Raiders), Josh Cleeland (Sharks), Rhyse Martin (Townsville Blackhawks), Brenko Lee (Raiders), Tom Carr (Dragons), Francis Tualau (Storm), Richard Kennar (Storm)
Outs: Pat O’Hanlon (retirement), Sam Perrett (retirement), Curtis Rona (rugby union, Western Force), Tim Browne (Panthers), Tony Williams (Sharks), Richard Coorey (released), Makahesi Makatoa (Raiders), Jarrod McInally (Queensland Intrust Super Cup), Graham Clark (released), Jake Kamire (released), Reubenn Rennie (released), Lamar Liolevave (released), Lloyd Perrett (Sea Eagles)
LOSER – Dogs fans would have been hoping for some good news on the recruitment front during the offseason, however, we believe they would have been disappointed. Whilst they lost no big names (Tony Williams is not a big name… just a big human), they didn’t gain any big names either. Their 2016 team lacked spark and it doesn’t look like they have signed any spark for the upcoming season
Ins: Manaia Cherrington (Wests Tigers), Tony Williams (Bulldogs), Jeremy Latimore (Panthers), Daniel Mortimer (Titans)
Outs: David Fifita (released), Mitch Brown (Leigh), Josh Cleeland (Bulldogs), Michael Ennis (retirement), Connor Tracey (Rabbitohs), Jesse Sene-Lefao (Castleford Tigers), Ben Barba (released), Jacob Gagan (Knights), Matt McIlwrick (Wests Tigers), Junior Roqica (London)
WINNER– We were going to put the Sharks into the ‘loser’ category, until they mysteriously ‘resigned’ Ben Barba. Daniel Mortimer and Tony Williams may prove to be astute signings. Both players have the potential – surely this is their last chance to prove it
GOLD COAST TITANS
Ins: Dan Sarginson (Wigan), Jarrod Wallace (Broncos), Kevin Proctor (Storm), Paterika Vaivai (free agent), Tyler Cornish (Roosters)
Outs: Nathan Friend (retirement), David Hala (released), Nene Macdonald (Dragons), David Mead (Broncos), Cameron Cullen (Sea Eagles), Luke Douglas (St Helens), Josh Hoffman (Eels), Greg Bird (Catalans), Jed Cartwright (Panthers), Daniel Mortimer (Sharks), Brian Kelly (Sea Eagles), Matt Srama (retirement)
LOSER– Kevin Proctor is a great signing for the Titans and will attempt to fill the gaping hole left in their leadership group following the loss of key personnel like Friend, Douglas and Bird. David Mead will be a loss – an unfortunate victim of the Hayne Plane landing.
MANLY SEA EAGLES
Ins: Frank Winterstein (rugby union), Shaun Lane (Warriors), Blake Green (Storm), Cameron Cullen (Titans), Akuila Uate (Knights), Curtis Sironen (Wests Tigers), Lloyd Perrett (Bulldogs), Jackson Hastings (Roosters), Brian Kelly (Titans), Jonathan Wright (Warriors)
Outs: Jamie Lyon (retirement), Tim Moltzen (retirement), Tom Symonds (Huddersfield), Siosia Vave (Eels), Liam Knight (Roosters), Nathan Green (released), Blake Leary (Blackhawks), Issac John (Mounties), Jayden Hodges (released), Rhys Armstrong (released), Fabian Goodall (rugby union), Halaufa Lavaka (released), Tony Satini (Panthers), Dylan Kelly (released), Hugh Pratt (released), Nicho Hynes (released), Darcy Cox (released), Josh Starling (Knights), Jamie Buhrer (Knights), Brayden Williame (Catalans), Matt Parcell (Leeds Rhinos), Feleti Mateo (Salford), Luke Burgess (Catalans)
WINNER– Trent Barrett has put a broom through the Sea Eagles in an attempt to put his stamp on the club. Although they have lost a number of key personnel, we believe the club was in nead of a cleanout. Some clever signings should see the Sea Eagles a big improver in 2017.
Ins: Josh Addo-Carr (Wests Tigers), Brandon Smith (Cowboys), Vincent Leuluai (Roosters), Jahrome Hughes (Cowboys), Ryley Jacks (Sunshine Coast Falcons)
Outs: Marika Koroibete (rugby union), Josh Kerr (Dragons), Ryan Morgan (St Helens), Blake Green (Sea Eagles), Matt White, Francis Tualau (Bulldogs), Ben Hampton (Cowboys), Richard Kennar (Bulldogs), Kevin Proctor (Titans)
LOSER– The Storm have lost some big names for the 2017 season without too many gains. Craig Belamy rarely gets this wrong though.
Ins: Jamie Buhrer (Sea Eagles), Rory Kostjasyn (Cowboys), Ken Sio (Hull KR), Josh Starling (Sea Eagles), Jacob Gagan (Sharks), Joe Wardle (Huddersfield Giants)
Outs: Jeremy Smith (retirement), James McManus (retirement), Kade Snowden (retirement), Robbie Rochow (Rabbitohs), Akuila Uate (Sea Eagles), Jake Mamo (Huddersfield Giants)
LOSER– Jamie Buher is the big name signing for the Knights as they struggle to attract talent to the club. The likely career ending drug charge against Jarrod Mullen will see the Knights struggle again in 2017.
ORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Ins: Carlin Anderson (Broncos), Ben Hampton (Storm)
Outs: Brandon Smith (Storm), James Tamou (Panthers), Jahrome Hughes (Storm), Rory Kostjasyn (Knights), Tautau Moga (Broncos), Ben Hannant (retirement)
LOSER– Some big losses for the Cowboys especially in the forwards. The Cowboys pack has done a great job over the last few years to lay a platform for JT. It’ll be interesting to see how the future immortal will go in 2017.
Ins: Jamal Fogerty (Burleigh Bears), Siosia Vave (Sea Eagles), Nathan Brown (Rabbitohs), George Jennings (Panthers), Josh Hoffman (Titans), Suaia Matagi (Panthers), Frank Pritchard (Hull FC), Kirisome Auva’a (unattached), Will Smith (Panthers)
Outs: Tyrell Fuimaono (Rabbitohs), Michael Gordon (Roosters), Kieren Moss (Bradford), Anthony Watmough (retirement), Kieran Foran (Warriors), Luke Kelly (Rabbitohs), Danny Wicks (retirement), Vai Toutai (released), Mitch Cornish (Roosters)
WINNER– On paper it looks like the Eels have lost out in the transfer market in 2017, however, when considering the impact that Foran and Watmough actually had in 2016 perhaps this needs to be reconsidered. Will Smith and Josh Hoffman will sure up their backline and who knows what Frank ‘The Tank’ Pritchard will produce.
Ins: James Tamou (Cowboys), Tim Browne (Bulldogs), Michael Oldfield (Rabbitohs), Darren Nicholls (Redcliffe Dolphins), Mitch Rein (Dragons), Jed Cartwright (Titans)
Outs: Ben Garcia (Catalans), Chris Smith (Sydney Roosters), George Jennings (Eels), Zak Hardaker (Castelford), Jeremy Latimore (Sharks), Suaia Matagi (Eels), Andrew Heffernan (Hull KR), Chris Grevsmuhl (released), Robert Jennings (Rabbitohs), Will Smith (Eels)
WINNER– Gus Gould has worked his magic in recruiting James Tamou to the club in 2017. We predict that Mitch Rein will benefit from a change of scenery and Tim Brown is a solid signing from the Dogs.
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Ins: Tyrell Fuimaono (Eels), Robbie Rochow (Knights), Connor Tracey (Sharks), Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers), Luke Kelly (Eels), Anthony Cherrington (Redcliffe Dolphins), Robert Jennings (Panthers), Brett Greinke (Broncos)
Outs: Joe Burgess (Wigan), Luke Keary (Roosters), Paul Carter (Roosters), Kirisome Auva’a (released), Cameron McInnes (Dragons), Nathan Brown (Eels), Michael Oldfield (Panthers)
WINNER– With no major losses and some solid gains, Souths have been a winner in the transfer market in 2017 – but only just. Say what you will about Robbie Farah off the field – on it, we believe he is still a gun. He’ll prove this to Jason Taylor in round 1.
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Ins: Josh Kerr (Storm), Nene Macdonald (Titans), Cameron McInnes (Rabbitohs), Shaun Nona (Illawarra Cutters), Paul Vaughan (Raiders)
Outs: Mike Cooper (Warrington), Sebastine Ikahihifo (Huddersfield), Ben Creagh (retirement), Benji Marshall (Broncos), Dylan Farrell (retirement), Tom Carr (Bulldogs), Mitch Rein (Panthers), Dunamis Lui (Raiders), Adam Quinlan (Hull KR)
LOSER– A new hooker of similar style to the old one is as exciting as it gets for the Dragons. The retirement of Ben Creagh will see the club lack leadership in 2017. Another tough year ahead for Dragons fans.
Ins: Michael Gordon (Eels), Luke Keary (Rabbitohs), Liam Knight (Sea Eagles), Zane Tetevano (Wyong Roos), Paul Carter (Rabbitohs), Mitch Cornish (Eels), Brendan Santi (Blackhawks)
Outs: Vincent Leuluai (Storm), Sam Moa (Catalans), Tyler Cornish (Titans), Jackson Hastings (Sea Eagles)
WINNER– The Roosters have recruited well which should see them able to put the horrendous 2016 season well behind them. We are looking forward to round 4, to see Luke Keary show his former club what they are missing out on.
Ins: Kieran Foran (Eels)
Outs: Raymond Faitala-Mariner (Bulldogs), Thomas Leuluai (Wigan), Shaun Lane (Sea Eagles), Jonathan Wright (Sea Eagles), Henare Wells (Burleigh)
WINNER– Kieran Foran as the only recruit for the club is enormous. This one signing more than makes up for the losses incurred by the Warriors. After a horror 2016 we are looking forward to seeing Foran lead the young Warriors team to a big 2017.
Ins: Jamal Idris (free agent), Matt McIlwrick (Sharks)
Outs: Josh Addo-Carr (Storm), Jack Buchanan (Widnes), Josh Drinkwater (released), Asipeli Fine (Bulldogs), Lamar Liolevave (Bulldogs), Billy McConnachie (released), Jesse Parahi (Rugby Sevens), Manaia Cherrington (Sharks), Dene Halatau (retirement), Robbie Farah (Rabbitohs), Curtis Sironen (Sea Eagles), Chance Peni (rugby union)
LOSER– Jason Taylor will again be under pressure throughout 2017. With no major signings and a heap of losses, the pressure will be on from very early in the season. The release of Farah and the loss of the famous ‘Sironen’ name from the club may come back to hunt him.