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Experts' view: Who'll win NRLW title?

Can the Broncos make it three in a row, or will one of their rivals upset the bosses of the NRLW?

That's the question facing the experts at NRL.com heading into the opening weekend of the 2020 Telstra Women's Premiership.

The Dragons were considered a chance heading into last year's decider but were no match once the big day arrived.

They will start the season intent on going one better, while both the Roosters and Warriors have designs on featuring on grand final day.

Experts' view

Jamie Soward (former Blues five-eighth)

The Dragons have all the pieces in place to go one better than last year. I think they'll avenge that painful loss over the next month. I'm looking forward to improvements from all clubs. 

Week 1 - NRLW back for bumper third season

Steve Renouf (Maroons legend)

Broncos. They have lost a couple of players but still have a strong team. The signing of Talisha Harden will only help as she will toughen up their middle. Also, they will still be captained Ali Brigginshaw. Say no more! A three-peat is on the way.

Alicia Newton (NRL.com reporter)

Learned my lesson last year so I'm going to pick the Broncos until they're beaten on the big stage. They've lost a lot of experience and aggression this season for various reasons but their starting props Millie Boyle and Amber Hall set a platform other clubs aspire to. You can't knock a winning culture.

Hersday

Paul Suttor (NRL.com editor)

The Roosters have failed to live up to the hype over the past two years but with Jamie Feeney on board as coach and a squad boosted by rugby sevens convert Charlotte Caslick, they have the potential to go all the way. Caslick will be tested out early to see if she can withstand the greater physicality of the 13-player game.

Mary Konstantopoulos (Ladies Who League)

I am very excited about the Warriors. Kirra Dibb and Georgia Hale will be a formidable halves combination. There has been plenty of talk about the rugby sevens players and whether they will make the shift from rugby sevens to league a successful one. Ellia Greene and Evania Pelite are world-class athletes and I think will be an asset Brad Donald's team.

Lone Scout (NRL.com Fantasy guru)

Their men's team may have endured the worst season in club history but Broncos fans will get the chance to cheer their women's side on for what should be a third straight NRLW premiership win. They boast the competition's best player in Ali Brigginshaw and will be tough to beat once again.

Dan Walsh (NRL.com reporter)

Broncos. There's been plenty of changes up north but still very hard to argue against a side that has Ali Brigginshaw calling the shots and has lost just once - by two points - in two seasons. The Jillaroos No.7 will be lifting the trophy again in a month's time.

Hale keen for opening game against the ‘favourites’

Brad Walter (NRL.com senior reporter)

Dragons. The star-studded backline has been bolstered by Isabelle Kelly and the return of Sam Bremner but it's the addition to their forward pack of Steph Hancock and Elsie Albert that should enable the Red V to go one better than last year.

Joel Gould (NRL.com reporter)

The Broncos are in the box seat to make it three in a row. The culture of the team is such that the new faces each year fit right in with the Broncos way of doing things. Ali Brigginshaw has emerged as one of the great leaders in rugby league whose competitive spirit rubs off on all she plays with.

Chris Kennedy (NRL.com reporter)

With so many changes anything could happen and the Broncos could well win it again but I like the look of the Dragons squad. There are some huge ins and a backline boasting Sergis, Kelly, Penitani, Bremner and Tungai could do some serious damage.

Brigginshaw: The girls are really pumped

Troy Whittaker (NRL.com reporter)

They say you have to lose a grand final to win one, so the Dragons should be primed. Winning the Perth Nines in February would have been a major confidence boost and Sam Bremner's return will provide the extra touch of class.

Margie McDonald (NRL.com senior reporter)

Let's go out on a limb and say the Warriors. They're picking up the mantle of the men and will gain plenty of fans and support by being "in camp" in Australia and away from family and friends. They also have secured the considerable kicking and attacking abilities of Jillaroos half Kirra Dibb.

Martin Lenehan (NRL.com senior journalist)

The Warriors will be the entertainers of the competition. The signing of rugby sevens superstar Ellia Green is a massive coup and she'll be box office material. Karina Brown and Kirra Dibb bring class to the backline while premiership-winning Bronco Tazmin Gray is a proven big-game performer.

The Incomparables

Zac Bailey (NRL.com reporter)

Dragons. They lost last year's decider, but the return of Sammy Bremner will provide them with leadership and spark in attack from fullback. Couple that with Isabelle Kelly's arrival. After a disappointing season last year, the former Rooster will be out to regain her status as one of the game’s best players.

Kenny Scott (NRL.com Sunday Session podcaster)

Warriors. The Warriors have a strong team already and were unlucky to bow out last year having won two of three matches. The addition of Jillaroos five-eighth Kirra Dibb and the arrival of rugby sevens converts Ellia Green and Evania Pelite means they'll have a fit and fast squad with good leadership in the halves. The added benefit of neutral fans most likely willing them on just might be enough.

 

The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARL Commission, NRL clubs or state associations.