Returning coach Des Hasler has a big job on his hands to turn around a Manly outfit that only just dodged the 2018 wooden spoon.
He won't get a lot of help from big-name recruits, with Titans pair Kane Elgey and Brendan Elliott the only notable new names at this stage.
Elgey is likely to get first crack in the halves alongside skipper Daly Cherry-Evans, given Lachlan Croker's demotion to the development list, while Elliott will battle Brad Parker for a wing spot following the departures of Matt and Jono Wright and Aku Uate.
Former Dragons young-gun Reuben Garrick could be elevated to the starting side sooner than expected if Dylan Walker faces sanctions over an alleged domestic violence incident.
Curtis Sironen returns from injury to replace Shaun Lane in the back row.
Resident NRL.com expert Jamie Soward says:
"Underrated roster really when you look at some of their forwards. They haven't really recruited well. Dylan Walker, we'll have to wait and see what pans out there but he's in the best 17 if available.
"Kane Elgey needs a big year, it's on Kane straight away because Koroisau, Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic are some of the elite guys in their position. Kane Elgey needs to come in with a mindset to run the ball."
NRL.com's predicted Round 1 team:
- Tom Trbojevic
- Jorge Taufua
- Dylan Walker
- Moses Suli
- Brad Parker
- Kane Elgey
- Daly Cherry-Evans
- Addin Fonua-Blake
- Api Koroisau
- Martin Taupau
- Curtis Sironen
- Joel Thompson
- Jake Trbojevic
- Manase Fainu
- Jack Gosiewski
- Lloyd Perrett
- Kelepi Tanginoa
Other squad members: Cade Cust, Brendan Elliot, Tevita Funa, Reuben Garrick, Albert Hopoate, Taniela Paseka, Toff Sipley, Frank Winterstein