No.1 reason to be excited about your NRL club in 2019
FRESH faces, rising stars and the prospect of finals football.
There's plenty of reasons why fans should be excited about their NRL teams this year.
We take a look at one for every club.
BRONCOS - The young forward pack
Brisbane boast arguably the best up-and-coming pack in the competition.
Even with Josh McGuire, Korbin Sims and Sam Thaiday moving on, the club's not short on quality options to fill the void with the likes of rising stars David Fifita, Payne Haas and Kotoni Staggs all getting a run in 2018.
Representative back-rower Matt Gillett will make his long-awaited return from a neck injury and his experience will only help his younger teammates.
Throw in young powerhouses Tevita Pangai Jnr and Matt Lodge, who are coming off their best seasons, and there's plenty to like.
RAIDERS - A fit Josh Hodgson
The England international is obviously a crucial cog for Canberra and that was evident when he was sidelined for half of 2018 due to an ACL injury.
But the Raiders hooker will be fit and firing this time around and fans will be hoping he can get the side firing straight out of the blocks.
Hodgson is also now the Raiders' co-captain, a move that could see his game thrive even more.
BULLDOGS - The youth in the ranks
It's been a rough couple of seasons for Canterbury, but there's plenty to like about the rising stars on their books.
Jeremy Marshall-King, Lachlan Lewis and Reimis Smith showed plenty of promise last year, while the club have also picked up the likes of Nick Meaney and Christian Crichton who are likely to see plenty of NRL.
Throw in some of the experienced heads such as Josh Jackson, Kieran Foran and Will Hopoate and there's reason for Bulldogs fans to show some optimism.
SHARKS - A hungry Shaun Johnson
After feeling as though he wasn't valued at the Warriors, the talented Kiwi playmaker now has the chance to prove his doubters wrong at Cronulla.
The 28-year-old is likely to play five-eighth at the Sharks alongside former Warriors teammate Chad Townsend, with Matt Moylan moving to fullback.
The move could relieve the 29-Test international of the chief playmaking responsibilities and help the Sharks become more potent in attack.
TITANS - The emergence of AJ Brimson
One of the best young talents in the game, footy fans got a glimpse of what Brimson can do when he made his debut for Gold Coast in 2018.
He played 11 of his 15 NRL games for the club at five-eighth, but a move to fullback - where he plays his best football - is on the cards.
A hard runner of the ball and a player who's not afraid of some heavy contact, Brimson could very well be the Titans' long-term No.1.
SEA EAGLES - Stability in the halves
Manly struggled to find a consistent halves partner for Daly Cherry-Evans last season after Blake Green departed for the Warriors.
Lachlan Croker, Dylan Walker and Trent Hodkinson all spent time at five-eighth, but they'll he hoping the arrival of Kane Elgey will offer more stability.
Elgey himself has a point to prove after a roller coaster final year at Gold Coast, but there's no doubting he's got plenty more to offer going off his early career form.
STORM - A new era post-Billy Slater
It's virtually impossible to replace one of the best fullbacks of all-time, but the opportunity for a fresh face to take over Melbourne's No.1 is an exciting one.
Jahrome Hughes, who featured there a number of times in 2018, was tipped to snare the role, but captain Cameron Smith said Scott Drinkwater has been "training quite exceptionally".
It's shaping up to be an intriguing positional race in a side that won't change too much from the one that made the grand final last season.
KNIGHTS - A real prospect of returning to finals football
The roster rebuild at Newcastle is officially over with the club welcoming a host of quality signings in the off-season, headlined by David Klemmer.
Both the forwards and backs will be stronger, while there's plenty to be excited about a halves combination of Kalyn Ponga and Mitchell Pearce.
Knights fans will be expecting big things this season, and rightly so.
COWBOYS - A fit Michael Morgan
Last season was one to forget for Morgan, who started the year with a groin injury before a biceps rupture ended it for good.
The 27-year-old has had plenty of time to get his body right since then, and North Queensland fans only have to cast their minds back to 2017 when a fit and in-form Morgan guided them all the way to the grand final.
Not only that, but an impressive forward pack, that now includes Josh McGuire, should allow the Kangaroos representative plenty of room to work his magic.
EELS - Arrival of Blake Ferguson
It's no secret the Parramatta missed Semi Radradra last season following the Fijian flyer's departure to French rugby.
The Eels struggled to find a suitable replacement for him in-house, so they went out and snared the signature of the 2018 Dally M winger of the year.
The former Sydney Roosters premiership winner will help the team get their sets off to a good start, and his average of 186 metres per game in 2018 says as much.
PANTHERS - The Cleary combo
Nathan Cleary admitted last week it was "a bit weird" training under his father and new coach Ivan, but that should pass as the weeks roll on.
It's going to be interesting to see how the pair work together, especially with both on long-term deals.
Given the talent at the club's disposal and their past performances, the premiership window is open for the Penrith - and there will be pressure on Nathan and Ivan to take them all the way.
RABBITOHS - The Bennett factor
South Sydney head into the 2019 season with a very similar roster as last year when they fell just short of a grand final.
When you add in Wayne Bennett, there will be high expectations on both the players and their new coach.
But if there's one man capable of sheltering his players from outside noise, it's the NRL's most successful coach.
DRAGONS - Another attacking threat
There should be no reason for a points drought at St George Illawarra this season.
Both Gareth Widdop and Ben Hunt combined well in 2018, but with Corey Norman also now in the mix, the Dragons will be even more of an attacking threat.
Coach Paul McGregor hasn't yet confirmed his ideal spine for 2019, but Norman is tipped to partner Hunt in the halves, with Widdop shifting to fullback.
ROOSTERS - The premiership window is still wide open.
We all know how hard it is to win back-to-back titles in the NRL, but Roosters will be well-placed to do so this year.
The defending premiers head into the 2019 season with a team very similar to the one that won the Provan Summons Trophy - the major changes being Angus Crichton in for Ryan Matterson, while Brett Morris is expected to replace Blake Ferguson.
The roster stability means that fans will be expecting the Tricolours to feature heavily in the finals once again.
WARRIORS - The backline
Despite Johnson's exit, the Warriors will still be a dangerous side in 2019.
Last year's Dally M winner Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is playing some of his best football, while David Fusitu'a finished as the competition's leading tryscorer.
Solomone Kata, Peta Hiku and Ken Maumalo will all be there again and boast plenty of attacking threat.
Blake Green will be under pressure to steer the side around with rookie halves partner, but there's still plenty to like about the Warriors.
WESTS TIGERS - Michael Maguire
It's been eight years since the Tigers last featured in the finals, but new coach Michael Maguire could be the man to help end that drought.
The 44-year-old has joined the Tigers on a three-year deal and has plenty of runs on the board, guiding the Rabbitohs to the title in 2014.
Despite an impressive resume, which also includes coaching New Zealand to an upset win over Australia late last year, Maguire will be desperate to make his mark after being sacked by the Rabbitohs following the 2017 season.