We have heard a lot about the boom rookies set to take the NRL by cyclone in 2019.
Names like Corey Allan, Bronson Xerri and Dylan Brown have been hurled around by rugby league fans and experts alike throughout this off-season.
But have we overlooked the are established first-graders that are set to stamp their mark on the competitor with a break-out season?
Form slumps, traumata or inexperience may have prevented some players from reaching their full potential on the field, so its hour dust off the crystal ball and predict which player at your NRL club is primed to hit best form in 2019.
Brisbane Broncos: Jack Bird It’s no secret that the former NSW Origin star’s first season at Red Hill was not a happy one. Bird struggled with fitness issues and was shuffled around between centre and an unfamiliar position at halfback before having his season cut short through injury.
According to new coach Anthony Seibold, the “deceptively strong” former Shark has had an uninterrupted pre-season and appears set for a permanent transformation to left centre. A settled role within an expansive Brisbane game plan under Seibold find Jack Bird primed to be a big improver in 2019.
Canberra Looter: Emre Guler Although he will not feature in Round 1, the imposing 21 year-old front rower is set to build upon a promising debut season last year.
The Under-2 0s New South Wales and Australian representative will have added responsibility on his shoulders this year after the departures of experienced props Junior Paulo and Shannon Boyd.
Guler has all the talent to attain the most of this opportunity and establish himself as a cornerstone of Canberra’s forward pack as the season progresses.
Canterbury Bulldogs: Kieran Foran The 2011 premiership win only managed 12 appearances in his first campaign at the Bulldogs after intersecting the Tasman from the Warriors, until a toe injury described curtains on his debut season in blue and white.
For the first time in four years, after a rotten run of persistent traumata, Foran has managed to get through a full pre-season, leaving him in his best physical condition since his days at the Sea Eagles.
With the emergence of Lachlan Lewis last season, Foran will also have a resolved partner in the halves, leaving him primed for a much improved season in 2019.
Cronulla Sharks: Matt Moylan Although the former Panther had a relatively successful debut season at the Sharks in 2018, a change back to his more natural position of fullback could see him return to the sort that catapulted him into the New South Wales Origin side in 2016.
The addition of Shaun Johnson, along with the steadiness of halfback Chad Townsend, will take pressure off Moylan to organise the side’s attack, allowing him to roam the field and inject himself into the game when he places an opportunity.
Gold Coast Titan: Ashley Taylor The dynamic halfback is a player of immense ability that has somewhat lost his way in recent years.
Taylor has acquired the services of Matthew Johns over the off-season, who encouraged the 23 -year-old to reignite the running game that insured him touted as a future representative star in his first season on the Glitter Strip.
The return of Tyrone Roberts and emergence of AJ Brimson will take pressure off Taylor and allow him to place more focus on his natural running game, while also playing behind a representative-calibre forward pack.
Manly Sea Eagles: Moses Suli A full pre-season under a disciplinarian in Des Hasler will do the wayward young centre a world of good.
Poor attitude and application to developing nearly expense the former teen prodigy his NRL career after being depicted the door by the Tigers and Bulldogs.
After a strong preparation for season 2019, Suli is now in the best shape of his career. The suspension of Dylan Walker opens the door for the 20 -year-old to stamp his mark on the NRL competition, as he looks set to turn heads this year.
Melbourne Cyclone: Brodie Croft After being branded as a Cooper Cronk clone earlier today in his career, the crafty Melbourne No. 7 was in and out of first grade in 2018.
Croft came into his own towards the back end of the season and was a standout player for Craig Bellamy throughout the finals series, showcasing a strong turn of pace and a willingness to take on the line.
Croft will be better for the experience in 2019 and you can expect him to cement his place at halfback and flourish for Melbourne this year.
All eyes on them
The Roar’s NRL expert tips-off and predictions: Round 1
“I’m glad it’s happened to us”; Gould ensure silver lining in sex tap scandal
Seibold marks Lodge as emerging leader at Broncos
Rock solid predictions ahead of the 2019 NRL season: Part 2
Newcastle Knights: Connor Watson The former Roosters live-wire will move to his preferred fullback position to start the season, after a much publicised positional switching with Newcastle whiz kid Kalyn Ponga.
There is likely to be pressure for Watson to perform from the outset, after Ponga defined the completion alight in the No. 1 jersey last season.
However, the fullback role will supplement Watson’s natural running game and will likely bring out his best form in 2019.
Stay tuned for Part 2 where we will run through the predictions for the most improved player for the remaining eight squads in the NRL.
Read more: theroar.com.au