The NRL has unveiled its team lists for the 2023 season, featuring 17 clubs and three byes. All 17 will play 27 rounds, with Penrith taking on North Queensland in the final round of regular season action.
In 2023, the NRL Teams 2023 welcomes two relegation contenders in the Dolphins and Bulldogs. Additionally, the Dragons have made several signings to bolster their forward pack.
Oregon Kaufusi, who made a successful debut in 2022, is an obvious contender to make the side. Fullback Will Kennedy also has his name mentioned as being in contention. Kobe Hetherington will also be contesting for a bench spot after returning from his bicep injury.
Jacob Host of the Sydney Roosters is expected to make the starting team after recovering from a shoulder injury, while Zac Woolford could also see action at center. Jordan Riki, Corey Horsburgh, and former Knights player Pasami Saulo could all make an impact as well; however, there will be fierce competition for places as this young gunry develops.
Tony Pulled has named a team that should be competitive, featuring some notable names. Blake Lawrie and Jack de Belin start as props while Francis Molo, Zane Musgrove, and Ben Murdoch-Masila fill out the bench. Jayden Hunt and Michael Molo will also be competing for places but must first prove they deserve one.
Bulldogs back-rowers remain competitive, with Damien Cook and Tevita Tatola the front-row favorites. Davvy Moale is expected to partner the Kiwi at one of the two starting prop positions, while Keaton Koloamatangi or Jai Arrow could also feature.
Harley Smith-Shields, returning from a long-term injury in NSW Cup, is expected to have an excellent 2023 campaign for the Storm. After last year’s disappointing grand final loss to the Bulldogs, Smith-Shields will need to keep them on track this time around.
Penrith will look to build on their premiership success but have been hindered by the departure of star halfback Adam Elliott to the Knights. Tyrone Peachey will start as a lock with Corey Harawira-Naera and Hudson Young in the second row. Darren Lockyer is expected to start at center but must prove himself ahead of players such as Jack Nicholls and Tom Burgess.
Melbourne will aim to return to the top of the ladder after missing out on finals by two points last year. They face a challenging opening month with games against Sydney Roosters, Rabbitohs, and Knights.
Brisbane should make a strong start to the 2023 season, especially considering they were the only team not to finish above the Knights in 2022. Their first test will come against the Roosters on August 31st while facing off against Sharks and Broncos in Rounds 2 and 4.
In 2023, the Green Machine’s forward line should be strong with Tevita Tatola, Dane van Gisbergen, and Siliva Havili all expected to start. Zac Woolford could potentially replace him at the center, while Jordan Riki should be rewarded for his outstanding form in the backline last year.