Matt Russell's Toyota Cup preview
The Toyota Cup heads into its third season this weekend and Matt Russell is back to call the action for Fox Sports. Here's his look at Round 1.<br><br><b>New faces..</b><br><br>As always at Under 20 level, a new season sees some players move on and others arrive. The changes are not confined to the playing ranks.<br><br>This year the Toyota Cup welcomes coaches Matt Cameron (Parramatta), Adrian Lam (St George Illawarra), Matthew Wood (Brisbane), Garth Brennan (Newcastle), Dean Pay (Melbourne), David Hamilton (Canberra), Rod Patison (Gold Coast), John Ackland (Warriors) and David Kidwell (South Sydney).<br><br>There are plenty of decorated former players in those ranks - Ackland even played first class cricket - who might be wishing for a return to the field a few weeks in!<br><br><b>Where are we at?</b><br><br>Here are a couple of games to keep a close eye on this week.<br><br>On Saturday night, 2009 wooden spooners Cronulla host reigning premiers Melbourne.<br><br>On Monday night, 2009 grand finalists Wests Tigers host last year's minor premiers Manly.}<br><br>Who has improved… who has come back to the field… who is stong again? All these questions should be answered in the first few weeks.<br><br><b>Too many turnovers..</b><br><br>Melbourne' side for Round 1 has only three survivors from last year's premiership side - Justin O'Neill, Jordan McLean and Rob Rochow.<br><br>Wests Tigers have eight players backing up from the grand final year - Jake Mullaney, Sama Sauvao, Jake Clarke, Jay Florimo, Joel Wisbey, Matt Hyland, Monikura Tikinau and Aaron Woods.<br><br><b>Main man Mullaney..</b><br><br>It is worth remembering Jake Mullaney's amazing finish to 2009. Will it continue in 2010?<br><br>He was the Jarryd Hayne of the Toyota Cup as he scored 21 tries in the last 10 weeks of the season. Tim Sheens has said he's “on the radar”.<br><br><b>Continued development..</b><br><br>It's worth casting an eye over the NSW Cup and Qld (Intrust Super) Cup competitions to follow the development of former Toyota Cup names.<br><br>This week's NSW Cup lineups are littered with 2009 NYC performers including Player of the Year Beau Henry and grand finalists Andrew Fifita, Chris Corby, David Fifita, Darren Nicholls, Gareth Widdop, Matt Duffie, Luke Kelly, James Wooldford, Fred Makimare, Billy Rogers and Polou Vaituutuu.<br><br>Further North, the Qld Cup has 2009 NYC minor premiership captain Jamie Buhrer playing for defending premiers Sunshine Coast, alongside Daly Cherry-Evans and Darcy Lussick.<br><br>There are a stack more. Expect plenty of the Cup players to push for NRL starts during the season.<br><br><b>All the best Mick..</b><br><br>Toyota Cup manager Michael Beuttner has moved on after two years in charge but he's not lost to the NRL, being kept by the league as a member of the judiciary panel. <br>In some other administrative news, the Toyota Cup will stay an Under 20 competition until at lease 2012. The NYC Steering Committee will meet again later this year to discuss 2013 and onwards.<br><br><b>TV stars.. Round 1</b><br><br>Fox Sports' coverage of the 2010 Toyota Cup starts at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.<br><br>The Bulldogs and Knights finished 10th and 11th last year, each with 9-14 records.<br>I'm particularly looking forward to watching highly rated Dogs lock Dale Finucane, who forms an impressive backrow with Lachlan Burr and Josh Jackson.<br><br>Newcastle has been impressed with five-eighth Tyrone Roberts and Peter Mata'utia provides strikepower in the centres.<br><br>Fox Sports new look Super Saturday starts at 2pm EDT, before Stuart Raper and myself call all the Toyota Cup action from 3.15pm EDT.<br><br>On Sunday, the Warriors are hoping for a cool day on the Gold Coast.<br><br>The Titans started 2009 impressively before injuries hit but they have nine regulars from last year backing up in 2010. The scrumbase of Cody Walker and Jordan Rankin has plenty of potential. <br><br>The same could be said for Shaun Johnson and Zensei Inu at the Warriors, who have Siutonga Likiliki lurking in the centres.<br><br>There were an average of 55 points per game in last season' Toyota Cup, and this game also promises plenty of points.<br><br>Join Scott Sattler and myself from 11.30am EDT for all the action from Skilled Park.