KFC SuperCoach NRL 2020 Round 1 Team predictions
KFC SuperCoach NRL 2020 Round 1 Team predictions

Updated: Predicted NRL teams for Round 1

KFC SuperCoach 2020 is live and the NRL pre-season is in full swing, with SuperCoaches looking to pounce on every opportunity, with positions up for grabs at most clubs.

To help SuperCoaches sort through the contentious positions, we've analysed all teams to predict the likely starting sides for every club in round one.

We've left out the majority of rookie players who could force their way into sides, with all the bargain base players listed in our bumper edition of Cheapie Bible.

 

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Ryan Papenhuyzen will be a popular pick to begin the year. (AAP Image/Scott Barbour).
Ryan Papenhuyzen will be a popular pick to begin the year. (AAP Image/Scott Barbour).

MELBOURNE STORM

1.Ryan Papenhuyzen

2.Suliasi Vunivalu

3.Justin Olam

4.Marion Seve

5.Josh Addo-Carr*

6.Cameron Munster

7.Jahrome Hughes

8.Jesse Bromwich

9.Cameron Smith

10.Nelson Asofa-Solomona

11.Kenny Bromwich

12.Felise Kaufusi

13.Dale Finucane

14.Brandon Smith

15.Christian Welch

16.Tui Kamikamica

17.Max King

Contentious positions: Melbourne's line up is fairly well locked in, but don't be surprised to see the club in the market for a centre before Round 1 having lost both Will Chambers and Curtis Scott. There is also some speculation that 'The Fox' Josh Addo-Carr could be on the move to a Sydney club, with the reportedly Storm open to a release if they receive a player in return.

KFC SuperCoach opportunity: A settled line up provides limited chance for a SuperCoach prospect to emerge. Marion Seve can assure himself an 80 minute role at centre - up from 68 minutes last season - but he'll likely be awkwardly priced at $393,400.

 

 

Kyle Flanagan will replace Cooper Cronk at the Roosters. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Kyle Flanagan will replace Cooper Cronk at the Roosters. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

SYDNEY ROOSTERS

1.James Tedesco

2.Daniel Tupou

3.Brett Morris

4.Joseph Manu

5.Ryan Hall

6.Luke Keary

7.Kyle Flanagan

8.Jared Waerea-Hargeaves

9.Jake Friend

10.Siosiua Taukeiaho

11.Boyd Cordner

12.Mitchell Aubusson

13.Victor Radley

14.Sam Verrills

15.Angus Crichton

16.Nat Butcher

17.Isaac Liu

Contentious positions: The departure of Latrell Mitchell looked set to open up a centre role for gun rookie Billy Smith, before he suffered a devastating ACL injury at training. That centre sport could now fall likely fall to one of Matt Ikuvalu, Brett Morris, Ryan Hall or Mitch Aubusson (which would allow Angus Crichton to start at second row).

 

KFC SuperCoach opportunity: Kyle Flanagan averaged 74 minutes at Cronulla last season for a healthy return of 50 points per game, making him an interesting option given on a better offensive team. Priced at just $530,100, Angus Crichton is also worth a look if he can work his way into an 80-minute role. He averaged 69 minutes last season for an underwhelming 57 points, and was benched in preference of Boyd Cordner and Mitch Aubusson when the trio were all fit. Cordner continues to strike injury, Aubusson is ageing and Crichton is in his prime. The former Rabbitoh will be underpriced if he can return to maximum game time.

 

 

Latrell Mitchell’s move to fullback will cause a reshuffle at Souths. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Latrell Mitchell’s move to fullback will cause a reshuffle at Souths. Picture: Dylan Robinson

SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS

1.Latrell Mitchell

2.Campbell Graham

3.Braidon Burns

4.James Roberts

5.Dane Gagai

6.Cody Walker

7.Adam Reynolds

8.Liam Knight

9.Damien Cook

10.Junior Tatola

11.Jaydn Su'A

12.Ethan Lowe

13.Cameron Murray

14.Alex Johnston/Adam Doueihi

15.Mark Nicholls

16.Tom Burgess

17.Bayley Sironen

Contentious positions: With Latrell Mitchell set to play fullback for the Rabbitohs and a stacked backline, either Adam Doueihi or Alex Johnston will likely be pushed to the bench or out of the squad entirely. The retirements of Sam Burgess and John Sutton have opened up slots on both edges, with Jaydn Su'A and Ethan Lowe tipped to fill the gaps.

KFC SuperCoach opportunity: Braidon Burns was a breakout SuperCoach star last season before succumbing to hamstring injuries early on in two games throughout the year restricting his average minutes (68) and points (49). As a result Burns will likely be underpriced with impressive base stats to boot, but can he get through the pre-season with a full bill of health? Hardly exciting purchases, but if Lowe and Su'A can up their minutes from 57 and 41 respectively to 80 on the edge they'll come into calculations as potential mid-rangers.

 

CHECK OUT MORE EXPERT KFC SUPERCOACH NRL ANALYSIS

Cheapie Bible | Positional Changes | Tom Sangster's team | Wilson Smith's team | Rob Sutherland's team | Bounce Back players | Mid-Rangers vs Guns | Mr Reliable | Trial Guide: Players to watch | Round 1 selection strategy

 

George Williams could be one of the buys of the year. (Photo by Daniel Smith/Getty Images)
George Williams could be one of the buys of the year. (Photo by Daniel Smith/Getty Images)

CANBERRA RAIDERS

1.Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

2.Nick Cotric

3.Joey Leilua *

4.Jarrod Croker

5.Curtis Scott

6.Jack Wighton

7.George Williams

8.Josh Papalii

9.Josh Hodgson

10.Sia Soliola

11.Elliott Whitehead

12.John Bateman

13.Joe Tapine

14.Bailey Simonsson

15.Corey Horsburgh

16.Emre Guler

17.Dunamis Lui

Contentious positions: Ricky Stuart has a serious dilemma in fitting recruit Curtis Scott into a quality backline. There has been some suggestion that Leilua could look to take up a deal with the Tigers, which would see Scott move to centre and Simonsson to the wing.

KFC SuperCoach opportunity: Recruit George Williams has a SuperCoach friendly game with tackle-breaking ability and general high attacking output and is priced at just $333,800. Provided he can break the curse of failed English backs - think Sam Tomkins and Zak Hardaker - he could figure in 2020. It's still too early to say, but he could be the best mid-range option in the halves for SuperCoaches.

 

Mitchell Moses had a bounce back year in 2019. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)
Mitchell Moses had a bounce back year in 2019. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

PARRAMATTA EELS

1.Clint Gutherson

2.Maika Sivo

3.Michael Jennings

4.Waqa Blake

5.Blake Ferguson

6.Dylan Brown

7.Mitchell Moses

8.Junior Paulo

9.Reed Mahoney

10.Reagan Campbell-Gillard

11.Shaun Lane

12.Ryan Matterson

13.Nathan Brown

14.Kane Evans

15.Daniel Alvaro

16.Marata Niukore

17.Brad Takairangi

Contentious positions: Parramatta's 17 looks fairly well locked and loaded. Brad Takairangi's versatility can allow Brad Arthur to run with a monster bench if that's his preference.

KFC SuperCoach opportunity: It's hard to see too much changing in terms of SuperCoach credentials throughout the pre-season. Injury saw Nathan Brown play 10 less minutes per game in 2019 compared to his past two seasons. While there's obvious improvement and potential there, it appears highly unlikely there'll be any additional minutes to attract in the stacked forward pack.

New recruit Danny Levi could start at hooker for Manly. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images).
New recruit Danny Levi could start at hooker for Manly. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images).

MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES

1.Tom Trbojevic

2.Jorge Taufua

3.Brad Parker

4.Moses Suli

5.Reuben Garrick

6.Dylan Walker

7.Daly Cherry-Evans

8.Martin Taupau

9.Danny Levi

10.Addin Fonua-Blake*

11.Curtis Sironen

12.Joel Thompson

13.Jake Trbojevic*

14.Cade Cust/Lachlan Croker

15.Jack Gosiewski

16.Corey Waddell

17.Taniela Paseka

Contentious positions: Danny Levi, Cade Cust and Lachlan Croker are believed to be vying for Manase Fainu's hooking role should he be unavailable for Round 1 (Fainu is currently stood down by the NRL pending a legal matter). Jorge Taufua faces competition from Albert Hopoate on the wing, but is likely to get the early season nod with the young gun returning from an ACL injury. Jake Trbojevic and Addin Fonua-Blake could be racing the clock to be fit for round 1 as they both return from shoulder surgery.

KFC SuperCoach opportunity: Fainu's availability will have huge implications on SuperCoach sides to begin the year. Despite starting 19 games from the bench last season he still averaged a healthy 49 minutes, with huge attacking upside he's a must if cleared to play.

If not, Cust would be overpriced, Levi has had an interrupted pre-season, while Croker could also come into consideration after averaging 31 minutes last season.

 

Blayke Brailey could be the best cheapie in 2020. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
Blayke Brailey could be the best cheapie in 2020. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

CRONULLA SHARKS

1.Matt Moylan

2.Josh Morris

3.Jesse Ramien

4.Bronson Xerri

5.Josh Dugan

6.Shaun Johnson

7.Chad Townsend

8.Andrew Fifita

9.Blayke Brailey

10.Aaron Woods

11.Briton Nikora

12.Wade Graham

13.Jack Williams

14.Cameron King

15.Braden Hamlin-Uele

16.Scott Sorensen

17.Billy Magoulias

Contentious positions: With the return of Jesse Ramien, Ronaldo Mulitalo would likely have to bide his time in reserve grade. Jack Williams heads a wide open group of youngsters vying for Paul Gallen's vacant starting role at lock.

KFC SuperCoach opportunity: Blake Brailey looks to see a huge increase in minutes in 2020, and is shaping to be the best cheapie of the year. Williams (37 minutes) and Braden Hamlin-Uele (36 minutes) will become mid-range options if starting at lock, while fellow contender Billy Magoulias (28 minutes, one game) looks a quality cheapie option regardless.

 

Jamayne Isaako looks set to improve in 2020 with a move to fullback (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt).
Jamayne Isaako looks set to improve in 2020 with a move to fullback (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt).

BRISBANE BRONCOS

1.Jamayne Isaako

2.Corey Oates

3.Jack Bird

4.Kotoni Staggs

5.Darius Boyd

6.Anthony Milford

7.Brodie Croft

8.Matt Lodge

9.Jake Turpin

10.Payne Haas

11.David Fifita

12.Alex Glenn

13.Tevita Pangai Jnr

14.Andrew McCullough

15.Joe Ofahengaue

16.Tom Flegler

17.Patrick Carrigan

Contentious positions: With the recruitment of Brodie Croft, the backline looks fairly settled, with Jamayne Isaako set to start at fullback. Jake Turpin looks set to start at hooker ahead of veteran Andrew McCullough, and could come into calculations at just $336,600 and a HFB dual-eligibility.

KFC SuperCoach opportunity: In three games at fullback in 2018 Isaako averaged 61 points, scoring just one try in the process. If he can prove himself as the club's No.1 with a strong pre-season he'll be a major option at CTW coming off a disappointing 45 point average in 2019. Furthermore, Isaako is expected to be the primary goal-kicker for the season opener. However, Kotoni Staggs and the returning Jordan Kahu (likely QLD Cup) will be hard at work leading into March to steal the role which would have major SuperCoach implications.

 

 

Tommy Talau could be a cheapie option in 2020. Credit: Dan Talintyre
Tommy Talau could be a cheapie option in 2020. Credit: Dan Talintyre

WESTS TIGERS

1.Corey Thompson

2.David Nofoaluma

3.Moses Mbye

4.Tommy Talau

5.Paul Momirovski

6.Benji Marshall

7.Luke Brooks

8.Alex Twal

9.Josh Reynolds

10.Josh Aloiai

11.Luciano Leilua

12.Luke Garner

13.Matt Eisenhuth

14.Elijah Taylor

15.Chris Lawrence

16.Michael Chee-Kam

17.Thomas Mikaele

Contentious positions: There's positions up for grabs across the 17 at the Tigers, with the back-row posing the majority of questions. Recruit Luciano Leilua and Luke Garner are the likely edge starters, while Matt Eisenhuth is favoured to start at lock. The likes of Chris Lawrence, Michael Chee-Kam and Elijah Taylor are all in contention for starting spots.

Boom rookie Tommy Talau is a strong chance at playing his second NRL game, but he'll face stiff competition from Paul Momirovski and Robert Jennings throughout the pre-season. An ACL injury to Jacob Liddle has Josh Reynolds in line to start at hooker, while Moses Mbye is another option for Michael Maguire.

KFC SuperCoach opportunity: SuperCoaches will be praying Leilua thrives in his new environment with a monster pre-season. Averaging 47 points in 41 minutes last season, the former Dragon has massive upside should he lock down an 80-minute role at Concord.

At just $292,100, Josh Reynolds could also be a borderline cheapie option if he starts at hooker.

 

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Jarome Luai looks to have won the battle to replace James Maloney at the Panthers. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts).
Jarome Luai looks to have won the battle to replace James Maloney at the Panthers. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts).

PENRITH PANTHERS

1.Dylan Edwards

2.Josh Mansour

3.Brent Naden

4.Dean Whare

5.Brian To'o

6.Jarome Luai

7.Nathan Cleary

8.James Tamou

9.Api Koroisau

10.Zane Tetevano

11.Viliame Kikau

12.Isaah Yeo

13.James Fisher-Harris

14.Mitch Kenny

15.Kurt Capewell

16.Moses Leota

17.Liam Martin

Contentious positions: Despite several off-season transfers, Penrith's roster looks fairly settled for 2020.

KFC SuperCoach opportunity: The pre-season is likely to have minimal SuperCoach impact on Penrith players, with Jarome Luai a cheapie looking like he has the five-eighth role secured. Api Koroisau could become more relevant if he wins the sole hooking role, but the highly regarded Mitch Kenny is likely to give the rake a reprieve off the bench.

 

Cheapie Bradman Best could start at centre for the Knights in 2020. (AAP Image/Darren Pateman).
Cheapie Bradman Best could start at centre for the Knights in 2020. (AAP Image/Darren Pateman).

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

1.Kalyn Ponga

2.Edrick Lee

3.Tautau Moga

4.Bradman Best

5.Hymel Hunt

6.Phoenix Crossland/Mason Lino

7.Mitchell Pearce

8.David Klemmer

9.Jayden Brailey

10.Daniel Saifiti

11.Lachlan Fitzgibbon

12.Mitchell Barnett

13.Tim Glasby

14.Connor Watson

15.Aidan Guerra

16.Herman Ese'ese

17.Sione Mata'utia

Contentious positions: Phoenix Crossland, Mason Lino and Kurt Mann will likely battle it out to partner Mitchell Pearce in the halves, which could also impact Kalyn Ponga if Lino kicks goals. The backline is also tight, with the arrival of Gehamat Shibasaki from Brisbane adding extra competition. Connor Watson is also a chance to play at either hooker or lock, after playing in middle role this pre-season.

KFC SuperCoach opportunity: Outside of obvious cheapies in Crossland and Bradman Best, there's not too much pre-season relevance for the Knights. The big issue will be whether or not Kalyn Ponga can retain kicking duties with Mason Lino likely playing NSW Cup. Without the duties, it's hard to see the superstar fullback slotting into a stacked SuperCoach fullback field early in the year.

William Hopoate is a very consistent option for SuperCoaches at CTW. (AAP Image/Steve Christo).
William Hopoate is a very consistent option for SuperCoaches at CTW. (AAP Image/Steve Christo).

CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS

1.Dallin Watene-Zelezniak

2.Reimis Smith

3.Will Hopoate

4.Kerrod Holland

5.Nick Meaney

6.Lachlan Lewis

7.Jack Cogger

8.Aiden Tolman

9.Jeremy Marshall-King

10.Dylan Napa

11.Josh Jackson

12.Corey Harawira-Naera

13.Adam Elliott

14.Sione Katoa

15.Joe Stimson

16.Raymond Faitala-Mariner

17.Renouf Toomaga

Contentious positions: The 1-13 looks fairly settled, with Sione Katoa a chance at elevating himself to a starting role with a strong pre-season. The make-up of the bench is also up for debate, with recruit Joe Stimson expecting to lock down spots.

KFC SuperCoach opportunity: Slim pickings at the Dogs, with Corey Harawira-Naera losing his dual 2RF/CTW status in 2020. Will Hopoate is a very consistent option at CTW, as is Aiden tolman at FRF, however neither has the highest ceiling.

 

Ken Maumalo was a try scoring machine in 2019. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images).
Ken Maumalo was a try scoring machine in 2019. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images).

 

NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS

1.Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

2.Ken Maumalo

3.Peta Hiku

4.Patrick Herbert

5.David Fusitu'a

6.Kodi Nikorima

7.Blake Green

8.Agnatius Paasi

9.Jazz Tevaga*/Wayde Egan

10.Leeson Ah Mau

11.Isaiah Papali'i

12.Tohu Harris

13.Adam Blair

14.Chanel Harris-Tavita

15.Lachlan Burr

16.Bunty Afoa

17.Sam Lisone

Contentious positions: With Jazz Tevaga, Karl Lawton and Nathaniel Roache set to miss the start of the season, the hooking position is up for grabs, with Wayde Egan the likely winner for now. Kodi Nikorima could also be an option, which would open the door for Chanel Harris-Tavita to start in the halves.

Patrick Herbert will vie for a centre role with Gerard Beale who returns from a gruesome knee cap injury.

KFC SuperCoach opportunity: Harris-Tavita will be the side's primary goal-kicker if he starts. Having spent time off the bench at stages last season, the livewire playmaker averaged just 63 minutes per game. He could become a sneaky POD if the opportunity arises. Wayde Egan could also be a mid-range option at HOK if he starts the season, however his window to start appears pretty short.

 

 

Valentine Holmes looks fit on his return from the NFL. Picture: North Queensland Cowboys.
Valentine Holmes looks fit on his return from the NFL. Picture: North Queensland Cowboys.

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

1.Valentine Holmes

2.Justin O'Neill

3.Tom Opacic

4.Esan Marsters

5.Kyle Feldt

6.Scott Drinkwater/Jake Clifford

7.Michael Morgan

8.Jordan McLean

9.Jake Granville

10.Josh McGuire

11.Gavin Cooper

12.Shane Wright

13.Jason Taumalolo

14.Ben Hampton/Reece Robson***

15.John Asiata

16.Francis Molo

17.Coen Hess

Contentious positions: The six, nine and 14 are up for grabs. Scott Drinkwater played halfback for the 2015 Australian Schoolboys side with Nathan Cleary at five-eighth, so a move to the halves won't be an issue. He faces stiff competition from Jake Clifford for the role.

After a mixed 2019 season, veteran hooker Jake Granville is also under some pressure from recruit Reece Robson, while there are two backline spots up for grabs, with Tom Opacic, Murray Taulagi, Justin O'Neill and Ben Hampton all serious contenders.

KFC SuperCoach opportunity: With Jordan Kahu leaving the club, the goal kicking duties are up for grabs, with Valentine Holmes, Jake Clifford Kyle Feldt and Esan Marsters all contenders to take up the tee.

Holmes will start at a reduced price due to his time out of the game, so if he's the primary goal-kicker he'll be an upside option for POD hunters. How he returns from his NFL venture will also have a major influence on his buy credentials. Robson would only become relevant with an 80 minute role having averaged 48 minutes in his seven games last season.

The departures of Scott Bolton and Matt Scott could also open up more opportunity for cheap forwards like Francis Molo.

 

Zac Lomax could be a big improver in 2020 if he starts at fullback. (AAP Image/Craig Golding).
Zac Lomax could be a big improver in 2020 if he starts at fullback. (AAP Image/Craig Golding).

ST GEORGE-ILLAWARRA DRAGONS

1.Zac Lomax

2.Jordan Pereira

3.Tim Lafai

4.Euan Aitken

5.Tristan Sailor/Jason Saab

6.Corey Norman

7.Ben Hunt

8.Paul Vaughan

9.Cameron McInnes

10.James Graham

11.Tyson Frizell

12.Tariq Sims

13.Blake Lawrie

14.Issac Luke

15.Jackson Ford

16.Korbin Sims

17.Trent Merrin

Contentious positions: Jack de Belin would start at lock if available, if not it's likely Blake Lawrie and the returning Trent Merrin would compete for the role. Zac Lomax is expected to get first crack at fullback, while Paul McGregor has a pleasing yet difficult choice between Tristan Sailor and Jason Saab on the wing. Jacob Host and Jackson Ford will compete for the final bench spot.

KFC SuperCoach opportunity: With Lomax expected to start at fullback and earn the goalkicking duties, Lomax is a genuine option with his CTW dual-eligibility, despite his awkward priced of $324,600. Trent Merrin has been a SuperCoach gun of the past and could be worth a risk at $408,000 if he does start.

Moeaki Fotuaika could be a decent POD for SuperCoaches. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt).
Moeaki Fotuaika could be a decent POD for SuperCoaches. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt).

GOLD COAST TITANS

1.AJ Brimson

2.Phillip Sami

3.Brian Kelly

4.Kallum Watkins

5.Anthony Don

6.Tyrone Roberts

7.Ash Taylor

8.Jarrod Wallace

9.Nathan Peats

10.Moeaki Fotuaika

11.Kevin Proctor

12.Ryan James

13.Jai Arrow

14.Mitch Rein

15.Shannon Boyd

16.Bryce Cartwright

17.Tyrone Peachey

Contentious positions: Ryan James in the back-row and Bryce Cartwright as a bench X-factor looks to be the Titans' strongest 17. However it'll all depend on the skipper's return from an ACL injury and if he remains nimble enough to play on an edge rather than the middle. Kallum Watkins should retain a starting position in the centres pushing utility Tyrone Peachey to the bench.

KFC SuperCoach opportunity: The Titans' 2019 Player of the Year, Mo Fotuaika scores at over a point per minute, so if he can up his game time he could become a SuperCoach weapon. He's already shown his ability to play in excess of 60, including an 80 minute effort in Round 14 last year. Ryan James also looks to be a popular option, with a dual eligibility and costing just $354,700.

 

CHECK OUT MORE EXPERT KFC SUPERCOACH NRL ANALYSIS

Cheapie Bible | Positional Changes | Tom Sangster's team | Wilson Smith's team | Rob Sutherland's team | Bounce Back players | Mid-Rangers vs Guns | Mr Reliable | Trial Guide: Players to watch | Round 1 selection strategy


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