With all 16 teams primed and ready to get off to a good start to the 2018 Telstra Premiership, team selections are crucial to get off on the right foot to gain crucial early momentum.
With the trials done and dusted, the NRL coaches are working frantically to decide on their best 17 players to front up in round 1.
It doesn't look like there will be many NRL debuts handed out for the opening weekend with Cronulla Sharks winger Sione Katoa the most likely uncapped player to get a start.
Several high-profile recruits will turn out for their new clubs at NRL level for the first time, including Sydney Roosters duo James Tedesco and Cooper Cronk, Newcastle Knights stars Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga, Penrith Panthers pivot James Maloney, and Cronulla Sharks pair Matt Moylan and Josh Dugan.
Other high-profile recruits set to feature in round 1 include Canterbury Bulldogs star Kieran Foran, New Zealand Warriors duo Adam Blair and Tohu Harris, Wests Tigers five-eighth Josh Reynolds and Parramatta Eels centre Jarryd Hayne.
Here is a rundown on each club and the expected team line-ups in round 1. (Note: These articles, originally produced in December, have been updated to reflect a number of changes including injury updates and player club movements)
Brisbane Broncos predicted round 1 line-up
With Andrew McCullough on the comeback trail from knee surgery, he is set to start the Broncos' round one clash on the bench with Sam Thaiday running out at hooker in the early exchanges, according to a NewsCorp report. Corey Oates will stay on the wing, not the back row, and Jamayne Issako will be on the other flank.. Star fullback Darius Boyd is fit. Despite concerns with his hamstring, Boyd confirmed that he is fine to play round one. New Broncos recruit Jack Bird will also be absent at the start of the season due to a shoulder injury, with the centre confirming he is anticipating a round four return. Young forward Andre Savelio will not feature in 2018 after injuring his ACL in a trial.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs predicted round 1 line-up
The Bulldogs don't have too many injury concerns ahead of round one as coach Dean Pay looks to instil a new attacking culture at the club. David Klemmer is expected to shift to prop with Aiden Tolman dropping to the bench as the Bulldogs as their pack undergoes a revamp.
Canberra Raiders predicted round 1 line-up
Siliva Havili is primed to get the starting hooker role over Craig Garvey following Josh Hodgson's ACL injury in last year's World Cup. Aidan Sezer is also an option for the role, however, but coach Ricky Stuart looks set to start the season with Sezer in the halves alongside Blake Austin.
Cronulla Sharks predicted round 1 line-up
The conjecture over where Matt Moylan and Valentine Holmes should play continues but Sharks coach Shane Flanagan says former Penrith man Moylan will line up at five-eighth, meaning Holmes will stay at fullback. Rookie Sione Katoa is also expected to start on the right wing over recruit Aaron Gray.
Gold Coast Titans predicted round 1 line-up
New coach Garth Brennan is giving very little away about his team, as reports suggest that recruit Mitch Rein may get a role on the bench. A back-row shift beckons for skipper Ryan James as the likes of Joe Greenwood, Leilani Latu, Jai Arrow and Jack Stockwell battle for spots. Brenko Lee is in doubt to start the season, while Philip Sami could come onto the wing.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles predicted round 1 line-up
Lachlan Croker is the favourite to get the coveted five-eighth role. Dylan Walker is still on the sidelines with an ankle injury with Matthew Wright likely to fill in at centre. Darcy Lussick will also miss the start of the season, with Addin Fonua-Blake to come into the side.
Melbourne Storm predicted round 1 line-up
After impressing in the trials, Brodie Croft is set to play halfback for the Storm following the shock departure of Cooper Cronk. The returning Ryan Hoffman is a straight swap for the departed Tohu Harris.
Newcastle Knights predicted round 1 line-up
Knights recruit Slade Griffin is expected to become a starter at hooker, shifting Danny Levi to the bench. Sione Mata'utia is expected to return to centre this season after a stint in the back row.
New Zealand Warriors predicted round 1 line-up
Eager to buck their inconsistencies, the Warriors went all out this off-season and signed Adam Blair, Blake Green and Tohu Harris among others. Also boasting solid depth, Peta Hiku's strong trial form has him heavily linked to a vacant centre role.
North Queensland Cowboys predicted round 1 line-up
Veterans Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott return to bolster the halves and front row respectively. New recruit Jordan McLean also slots into prop. Kane Linnett injured his pectoral muscle during the trials, so Javid Bowen is expected to be his replacement in the centres.
Parramatta Eels predicted round 1 line-up
Clint Gutherson would feature in the Eels' best 17 but his ACL injury will sideline him until at least round four. Bevan French is likely to start at fullback with the returning prodigal son Jarryd Hayne to play at centre. If trials are anything to go by, Brad Takairangi could be a surprise inclusion in the back row.
Penrith Panthers predicted round 1 line-up
Dylan Edwards is a lock for the fullback role following the departure of Matt Moylan. Back-rower Corey Harawira-Naera is in some doubt for round one. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak remains an outside chance for round one.
St George Illawarra Dragons predicted round 1 line-up
A vacant back-row spot at the Dragons has Tariq Sims and Luciano Leilua fighting it out for a starting berth. Kurt Mann and Euan Aitken are vying for a centre berth in the only other position that coach Paul McGregor has yet to decide upon.
South Sydney Rabbitohs predicted round 1 line-up
Youngster Campbell Graham was set to nab a starting wing spot but a broken hand threatens to jeopardise his round one chances. Alex Johnston looks to have been given the all-clear to play fullback with Greg Inglis to return in the centres alongside recruit Dane Gagai. Richie Kennar, Hymel Hunt, Jacob Gagan and others are pushing for a wing spot.
Sydney Roosters predicted Round 1 line-up
The additions of Cooper Cronk and James Tedesco boosts an already strong Roosters side, although their depth will be tested if they have numerous long-term injuries. Goal-kicking forward Sio Siua Taukeiaho could potentially start at prop, shifting either Dylan Napa or Jared Waerea-Hargreaves to the bench.
Wests Tigers predicted round 1 line-up
The Tigers boast a new-look side after a big recruiting drive in the off-season. Tui Lolohea was the front-runner for fullback but Corey Thompson has seemingly usurped him for round one after strong trial form. Esan Marsters, Mahe Fonua and Malakai Watene-Zelezniak are also hopeful of round one berths.
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