Sydney Roosters: 2019 Round 1 predicted team

A look at the 2019 player movements across the Telstra Premiership suggests the 2018 premiers have arguably as good a chance as any club in NRL history of going back to back.

The Roosters have the luxury of replacing their two highest-profile departures – back-rower Ryan Matterson and winger Blake Ferguson – with similarly high-calibre recruits in Angus Crichton and Brett Morris. England Test star Ryan Hall will sit out the early rounds due to a knee reconstruction but will at some stage make the three-way wing battle with Morris and Dan Tupou a fierce one.

Maroons prop Dylan Napa has also moved to the Bulldogs but finished last season on the bench as his minutes plunged compared to previous years; his absence opens the way for more game time for the likes of Lindsay Collins, Nat Butcher and Sitili Tupouniua.

Resident NRL.com expert Jamie Soward says:

"Brett Morris, what a pickup to come onto that wing. Ryan Hall unfortunately is injured but that gives Daniel Tupou a chance to play for a contract.

"Crichton comes in, they get stronger for me. Last year I tipped Melbourne was the best chance to go back to back – this side will go back to back."

NRL.com's predicted Round 1 team:

  1. James Tedesco
  2. Daniel Tupou    
  3. Joseph Manu    
  4. Latrell Mitchell
  5. Brett Morris
  6. Luke Keary
  7. Cooper Cronk
  8. Jared Waerea-Haregreaves
  9. Jake Friend
  10. Siosiua Taukeiaho
  11. Boyd Cordner
  12. Angus Crichton
  13. Victor Radley
  14. Isaac Liu
  15. Lindsay Collins
  16. Zane Tetevano
  17. Mitchell Aubusson

Other squad members: Egan Butcher, Nat Butcher, Josh Curran, Poasa Faamausili, Ryan Hall, Brock Lamb, Bernard Lewis, Shaquai Mitchell, Sitili Tupouniua.