NRL 2023 team-by-team season preview

The 2023 NRL season is just around the corner with the Penrith Panthers favoured to take out a hat trick of titles, despite losing several key players from last year. The Dolphins will make their NRL debut with absolutely no weight of expectation on their shoulders, while several clubs have changed coaches and continued to build their rosters in the hope of rapid improvement.

We go through each team, look at their best line-ups, where we think they will finish the season, and the odds on offer. Make sure you're prepared for the start of the 2023 NRL season.

Brisbane Broncos

Home Ground: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Coach: Kevin Walters

The Broncos spent most of last season in the Top 8 before a disastrous finish to the year saw them tumble out of finals contention. Adam Reynolds lines up at halfback for his second season, determined to return the proud club to the top. The Broncos have gone through a further clean-out during the offseason, with several under-performing players released. Livewire fullback Reece Walsh makes his return and will be looked to for some backline spark. This season will be a real test of Kevin Walters' coaching credentials, as he goes all out to prove Selwyn Cobbo wrong.

Best side: 1. Reece Walsh, 2. Corey Oates, 3. Kotoni Staggs, 4. Herbie Farnworth, 5. Selwyn Cobbo, 6. Ezra Mam, 7. Adam Reynolds, 8. Payne Haas, 9. Cory Paix, 10. Tom Flegler, 11. Kurt Capewell, 12. Jordan Riki, 13. Pat Carrigan, Bench: 14. Billy Walters 15. Kobe Hetherington, 16. Keenan Palasia, 17. Corey Jensen

Biggest loss: Te Maire Martin Biggest gain: Reece Walsh

First five: Panthers (A), Cowboys (H), Dragons (H), Dolphins (A), Tigers (H)

Last year's finish: 9th

Predicted 2023 finish: 7th

TAB odds: Premiers $17, Top 4: $3.75, Final 8: $1.75, Most Losses: $34

Canberra Raiders

Home ground: GIO Stadium Canberra
Coach: Ricky Stuart

The Raiders scraped into the finals last season, upset Melbourne the first week, before being crunched by the Eels in week two. Coach Ricky Stuart will have to pull all of his tricks out of the bag to reinvigorate his team, with a feeling that their shot at the premiership may have passed. They have been really quiet on the recruitment front, while losing several established players. Injury would again be their worst enemy as they battle to return to the Top 8 once again.

Best side: 1. Xavier Savage, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Matt Timoko, 4. Sebastian Kris, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Jamal Fogarty, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Zac Woolford, 10. Joseph Tapine, 11. Hudson Young, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Corey Harawira-Naera, Bench: 14. Tom Starling, 15. Corey Horsburgh, 16. Emre Guler, 17. Pasami Saulo

Biggest loss: Josh Hodgson Biggest gain: Pasami Saulo

First five: Cowboys (A), Dolphins (A), Sharks (H), Knights (A), Panthers (H)

Last year's finish: 8th

Predicted 2023 finish: 10th

TAB odds: Premiers: $23, Top 4: $4.50, Final 8: $2, Most Losses: $26

Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs

Home Grounds: Accor Stadium (Olympic Stadium Homebush), Belmore Sports Ground.
Coach: Cameron Ciraldo

The Bulldogs started the preseason looking sharper in attack and much more committed and organised defensively, and then they played the Sharks. Against Cronulla a lot of the old ugliness returned, with cluelessness dominating most of their attacking raids. New coach Cameron Ciraldo has a lot of work ahead of him if he is to return the proud club to its glory days. Reed Mahoney has added spark to the dummy half role, and there are an array of forward weapons at his disposal led by Viliame Kikau. The backline is where the Bulldogs still need a lot of improvement if they are to threaten the Top 8 teams.

Best side: 1. Hayze Perham, 2. Jacob Kiraz, 3. Jake Averillo, 3. Paul Alamoti, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Matt Burton, 7. Kyle Flanagan, 8. Max King, 9. Reed Mahoney, 10. Tevita Pangai Junior, 11. Raymond Faitala-Mariner, 12. Viliame Kikau, 13. Luke Thompson, Bench: 14. Josh Reynolds, 15. Ryan Sutton, 16. Jacob Preston, 17. Franklin Peleo

Biggest loss: Josh Jackson Biggest gain: Reed Maloney

First five: Sea Eagles (A), Storm (A), Tigers (H), Warriors (A), Cowboys (H)

Last year's finish: 12th

Predicted 2023 finish: 11th

TAB odds: Premiers: $23, Top 4: $4.75, Final 8: $2.10, Most Losses: $26

Cronulla Sharks

Home Ground: PointsBet Stadium (Shark Park)
Coach: Craig Fitzgibbon

The Sharks finished last season in second place before crashing out of the finals in straight sets. They have looked very sharp during their preseason hit-outs, with Nicho Hynes and Matt Moylan masterful in the halves. They have lost some experience from the engine room and will be relying on young forwards led by old hands Wade Graham and Dale Finucane. With coach Craig Fitzgibbon in his second year at the club, its hard not to see the Sharks being genuine premiership threats in 2023.

Best side: 1. Will Kennedy, 2. Sione Katoa, 3. Jesse Ramien, 4. Siosifa Talakai, 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo, 6. Matt Moylan, 7. Nicho Hynes, 8. Toby Rudolf, 9. Blayke Brailey, 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Wade Graham, 13. Dale Finucane, Bench: 14. Cameron McInnes, 15. Oregon Kaufusi, 16. Royce Hunt, 17. Teig Wilton

Biggest loss: Lachlan Miller Biggest gain: Oregon Kaufusi

First five: Rabbitohs (H), Eels (A), Raiders (A), Dragons (A), Warriors (H)

Last year's finish: 2nd

Predicted 2023 finish: 3rd

TAB odds: Premiers: $13, Top 4: $2.60, Final 8: $1.40, Most Losses: $67


Home Ground: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Kayo Stadium, Redcliffe
Coach: Wayne Bennett

The Dolphins enter their first season in the NRL with coach Wayne Bennett at the helm and a roster that fell a few superstars short of what they would have been hoping. Still it is an exciting time for the club and the league, despite the potential struggles that lie ahead. Looking at their preseason form, Sean O'Sullivan was a standout in the halfback role, but there's a lot of work to be done organising those around him into a cohesive unit, particularly in defence. There is plenty of experience in the forwards, as well as some flashy backs, but it will be up to Bennett to bring them together to ensure that they are at least competitive.

Best side: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, 2. Jamayne Isaako, 3. Tesi Niu, 4. Oliver Gildart, 5. Edrick Lee, 6. Anthony Milford, 7. Sean O'Sullivan, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Jeremy Marshall-King, 10. Tom Gilbert, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Kenny Bromwich, 13. Ray Stone. Bench: 14. Kodi Nikorima, 15. Herman Ese'ese, 16. Mark Nicholls, 17. Jarrod Wallace

Biggest loss: N/A Biggest gain: Sean O'Sullivan

First five: Roosters (H), Raiders (H), Knights (A), Broncos (H), Dragons (A)

Last year's finish: N/A

Predicted 2023 finish: 17th

TAB odds: Premiers: $81, Top 4: $26, Final 8: $7, Most Losses: $2.60

Gold Coast Titans

Home Ground: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Coach: Justin Holbrook

The only thing predictable about the Titans is that they will be completely unpredictable, swinging from Top 4 contenders to wooden spoon certainties on any given weekend. Coach Justin Holbrook will be hoping that veteran Kieran Foran is the missing ingredient that can bring with him some desperately needed consistency. Promising centre Aaron Schoupp joins the backline from the Bulldogs, while former Rooster Sam Verrills steps into the key dummy half role. They start the season with two very winnable games before being really tested by the Storm and Cowboys.

Best side: 1. AJ Brimson, 2. Jojo Fifita, 3. Aaron Schoupp, 4. Phil Sami, 5. Alofiana Khan-Pereira, 6. Kieran Foran, 7. Tanah Boyd, 8. Moeaki Fotuaika, 9. Sam Verrills, 10. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, 11. David Fifita, 12. Beau Fermor, 13. Erin Clark. Bench: 14. Jayden Campbell, 15. Jaimin Jolliffe, 16. Isaac Liu, 17. Joe Stimson

Biggest loss: Jamayne Isaako Biggest gain: Kieran Foran

First five: Tigers (A), Dragons (A), Storm (H), Cowboys (A), BYE

Last year's finish: 13th

Predicted 2023 finish: 12th

TAB odds: Premiers: $41, Top 4: $12, Final 8: $4, Most Losses: $10

Manly Sea Eagles

Home Ground: 4 Pines Park, Brookvale
Coach: Anthony Seibold

Manly sensationally sacked coach Des Hasler last year and handed the reins to Anthony Seibold, a move that will be howled down by Sea Eagles fans if early success is not evident. In a promising sign they have taken out the Preseason Challenge, with a couple of convincing victories over the Rabbitohs and Roosters. They have lost several players from last year, without bringing in any big name replacements. As usual, a lot will be riding on the fitness of Tom Trbojevic throughout the year.

Best side: 1. Tom Trbojevic, 2. Reuben Garrick, 3. Tolu Koula, 4. Brad Parker, 5. Christian Tuipulotu, 6. Josh Schuster, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. Josh Aloiai, 9. Lachlan Croker, 10. Taniela Paseka, 11. Haumole Ola'kauatu, 12. Kelma Tuilagi, 13. Jake Trbojevic. Bench: 14. Ben Trbojevic, 15. Sean Keppie, 16. Toafofoa Sipley, 17. Ethan Bullemor

Biggest loss: Kieran Foran Biggest gain: Kelma Tuilagi

First five: Bulldogs (H), BYE, Eels (H), Rabbitohs (A), Knights (H)

Last year's finish: 11th

Predicted 2023 finish: 4th

TAB odds: Premiers $21, Top 4: $4.75, Final 8: $2.25, Most Losses: $15

Melbourne Storm

Home Ground: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Coach: Craig Bellamy

The Storm would have been very disappointed with last season, finishing outside the Top 4, before being eliminated from the finals by the Raiders. They have lost a lot of experience from their pack, but when Ryan Papenhuyzen returns from injury, they will still have one of the strongest spines in the competition. With coach Craig Bellamy nearing the end of his time at the helm, they'll be keen to have him go out on top. Everyone knows how well Bellamy can bring together a team and have each of player perform to their best ability.

Best side: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen, 2. Nick Meaney, 3. Reimis Smith, 4. Justin Olam, 5. Xavier Coates, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Jahrome Hughes, 8. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 9. Harry Grant, 10. Christian Welch, 11. Eliesa Katoa, 12. Trent Loiero, 13. Tui Kamikamica. Bench: 14. Tyran Wishart, 15. Tom Eisenhuth, 16. Alec MacDonald, 17. Josh King

Biggest loss: Brandon Smith Biggest gain: Eliesa Katoa

First five: Eels (H), Bulldogs (H), Titans (A), Tigers (H), Rabbitohs (A)

Last year's finish: 5th

Predicted 2023 finish: 8th

TAB odds::Premiers: $8, Top 4: $1.85, Final 8: $1.20, Most Losses: $151

Newcastle Knights

Home Ground: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Coach: Adam O'Brien

The Knights were ordinary last season and time is rapidly running low for coach Adam O'Brien. Unimpressed with their halves from last year they have brought in a new batch including Jackson Hastings and Tyson Gamble, while indicating that Kalyn Ponga could be in for that permanent move to five-eighth. Adam Elliott and Jack Hetherington are set to step into the hard-hitting forward role vacated by David Klemmer, but the Knights are already off to a slow start with a couple of preseason losses.

Best side: 1. Lachlan Miller, 2. Hymel Hunt, 3. Dane Gagai, 4. Bradman Best, 5. Dominic Young, 6. Kalyn Ponga, 7. Jackson Hastings, 8. Daniel Saifiti, 9. Jayden Brailey, 10. Jacob Saifiti, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 13. Adam Elliott. Bench: 14. Kurt Mann, 15. Jack Hetherington, 16. Brodie Jones, 17. Leo Thompson

Biggest loss: David Klemmer Biggest gain: Jackson Hastings

First five: Warriors (A), Tigers (A), Dolphins (H), Raiders (H), Sea Eagles (A)

Last year's finish: 14th

Predicted 2023 finish: 16th

TAB odds: Premiers: $51, Top 4: $17, Final 8: $6, Most Losses: $6

New Zealand Warriors

Home Grounds: Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, Sky Stadium, Wellington, McLean Park, Napier
Coach: Andrew Webster

The Warriors are another club hoping a change of coach will bring a change of fortune, with Andrew Webster in charge of the now fully Auckland and New Zealand-based club. They have made several player changes, with Te Maire Martin to join Shaun Johnson in the halves, while the experience of Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Dylan Walker will help the club in their search for some elusive consistency. The end of their COVID-induced nomadic existence could see them settle in for a more productive season.

Best side: 1. Luke Metcalf, 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 3. Marata Niukore, 4. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 5. Marcelo Montoya, 6. Te Maire Martin, 7. Shaun Johnson, 8. Addin Fonua-Blake, 9. Wayde Egan, 10. Tohu Harris, 11. Josh Curran, 12. Mitch Barnett, 13. Jazz Tevaga. Bench: 14. Dylan Walker, 15. Bayley Sironen, 16. Jackson Ford, 17. Bunty Afoa

Biggest loss: Reece Walsh Biggest gain: Te Maire Martin

First five: Knights (H), Roosters (A), Cowboys (A), Bulldogs (H), Sharks (A)

Last year's finish: 15th

Predicted 2023 finish: 15th

TAB odds: Premiers: $51, Top 4: $17, Final 8: $5.50, Most Losses: $8

North Queensland Cowboys

Home Ground: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
Coach: Todd Payten

No one expected much from the Cowboys last year, but with Todd Payten as coach they were the competition surprise packets, finishing one win short of a Grand Final appearance. Can they maintain that presence in the 2023 season, when absolutely no one will be underestimating them? Club legend James Tamou returns to finish off his career, while Chad Townsend enters his second season at halfback. If the backs, led by Valentine Holmes, can reproduce the spark of 2022, they should be threatening for the premiership.

Best side: 1. Scott Drinkwater, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Valentine Holmes, 4. Peta Hiku, 5. Murray Taulagi, 6. Tom Dearden, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Jordan McLean, 9. Reece Robson, 10. Reuben Cotter, 11. Jeremiah Nanai, 12. Heilum Luki 13. Jason Taumalolo. Bench: 14. Mitchell Dunn, 15. James Tamou, 16. Luciano Leilua, 17. Coen Hess

Biggest loss: Tom Gilbert Biggest gain: James Tamou

First five: Raiders (H), Broncos (A), Warriors (H), Titans (H), Bulldogs (A)

Last year's finish: 3rd

Predicted 2023 finish: 5th

TAB odds: Premiers: $12, Top 4: $2.60, Final 8: $1.40, Most Losses: $81

Parramatta Eels

Home Ground: CommBank Stadium Parramatta
Coach: Brad Arthur

Parramatta were just one win away from ending their torturous premiership drought last year and really gave the Panthers a good run in the Grand Final. They have lost a couple of key players, and doubts have been raised about their ability to go one better in 2023. Star halfback Mitchell Moses is still toying with the idea of departing, which is never a healthy position for a club to be in. They have an absolutely brutal start to the season and the first five games should give a good indication of whether they can equal or better last season's heights.

Best side: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Will Penisini 4. Waqa Blake 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Ryan Matterson 13. J'maine Hopgood. Bench: 14. Jacob Arthur 15. Nathan Brown 16. Jack Murchie 17. Bryce Cartwright

Biggest loss: Reed Mahoney Biggest gain: Josh Hodgson

First five: Storm (H), Sharks (H), Sea Eagles (A), Panthers (H), Roosters (A)

Last year's finish: 4th (runner's up)

Predicted 2023 finish: 9th

TAB odds: Premiers: $15, Top 4: $3.75, Final 8: $1.75, Most Losses: $67

Penrith Panthers

Home Ground: BlueBet Stadium Penrith
Coach: Ivan Cleary

The Panthers went back-to-back last year and will look for the hat trick this year, despite an ongoing trickle of star player departures. The salary cap has certainly bitten, as it is meant to, but the Panthers are confident in their junior player production line. An unfortunate ACL injury will rob them of winger Taylan May for the season, but they still have an exciting array of attacking weapons.

Best side: 1. Dylan Edwards, 2. Jesse McLean, 3. Izack Tago, 4. Stephen Crichton, 5. Brian To'o, 6. Jarome Luai, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. Moses Leota, 9. Mitch Kenny, 10. James Fisher-Harris, 11. Luke Garner, 12. Liam Martin, 13. Isaah Yeo, Bench: 14. Soni Luke, 15. Spencer Leniu, 16. Scott Sorensen, 17. Jaeman Salmon

Biggest loss: Apisai Koroisau Biggest gain: Luke Garner

First five: Broncos (H), Rabbitohs (H), BYE, Eels (A), Raiders (A)

Last year's finish: 1st (Premiers)

Predicted 2023 finish: 2nd

TAB odds: Premiers: $4, Top 4: $1.50, Final 8: $1.09, Most Losses: $251

St George Illawarra Dragons

Home Ground: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney, WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Coach: Anthony Griffin

A good start, followed by some internal rumblings and a late tumble down the ladder, it was a familiar story for the Dragons in 2022. Coach Anthony Griffin could be the first to go, if the club doesn't show some sustainable promise early. They have a relatively cushy start to the season, and really should be aiming at winning at least two of their first four after the bye. Anything less and the coaching axe will be sent for sharpening. A key to their hopes will be fitting former Tiger Jacob Liddle into the crucial dummy-half role.

Best side: 1. Tyrell Sloan, 2. Mat Feagai, 3. Zac Lomax, 4. Moses Suli, 5. Mikaele Ravalawa, 6. Moses Mbye, 7. Ben Hunt, 8. Francis Molo, 9. Jacob Liddle, 10. Blake Lawrie, 11. Jack Bird, 12. Jaydn Su'A, 13. Jack De Belin. Bench: 14. Jayden Sullivan, 15. Zane Musgrove, 16. Billy Burns, 17. Aaron Woods

Biggest loss: George Burgess Biggest gain: Jacob Liddle

First five: BYE, Titans (H), Broncos (A), Sharks (H), Dolphins (H)

Last year's finish: 10th

Predicted 2023 finish: 14th

TAB odds: Premiers: $51, Top 4: $13, Final 8: $4, Most Losses: $5

South Sydney Rabbitohs

Home Ground: Accor Stadium (Olympic Stadium Homebush)
Coach: Jason Demetriou

Last year the Rabbitohs continued their frustrating habit of finishing the season one win short of a Grand Final appearance. Still, it points to the level of consistency the club has managed to achieve in recent times. They haven't made too many changes to their squad, losing three players, while promoting from within the club. Maybe that is the problem, perhaps they are one big player acquisition away from taking the next step? They'll certainly be tested early, with a start which is just as tough as that faced by the Eels.

Best side: 1. Latrell Mitchell, 2. Alex Johnson, 3. Isaiah Tass, 4. Campbell Graham, 5. Izaac Thompson, 6. Cody Walker, 7. Lachlan Ilias, 8. Tom Burgess, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Tevita Tatola, 11. Keaon Kolomatangi, 12. Jai Arrow, 13. Cameron Murray. Bench: 14. Siliva Havili, 15. Liam Knight, 16. Hame Sele, 17. Davvy Moale.

Biggest loss: Mark Nicholls Biggest gain: N/A

First five: Sharks (A), Panthers (A), Roosters (A), Sea Eagles (H), Storm (H)

Last year's finish: 7th

Predicted 2023 finish: 6th

TAB odds: Premiers $11, Top 4: $2.50, Final 8: $1.40, Most Losses: $67

Sydney Roosters

Home Ground: Allianz Stadium
Coach: Trent Robinson

The Roosters have certainly made that one big player acquisition that might help them go all the way, in hooker Brandon Smith from the Storm. Smith has the guile, toughness and skills to really give the Roosters a boost after the disappointment of last season. They possess one of the best backlines in the competition, a monster pack, and if halves Luke Keary and Sam Walker can stay healthy and continue to improve, the Roosters are going to be very tough to beat.

Best side: 1. James Tedesco, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Joseph Suaalii, 4. Joey Manu, 5. Jaxson Paulo, 6. Luke Keary, 7. Sam Walker, 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9. Brandon Smith, 10. Lindsay Collins, 11. Sitili Tupouniua, 12. Angus Crichton,13. Victor Radley. Bench: 14. Connor Watson, 15. Matt Lodge, 16. Nat Butcher, 17. Fletcher Baker

Biggest loss: Siosiua Taukeiaho Biggest gain: Brandon Smith

First five: Dolphins (A), Warriors (H), Rabbitohs (H), BYE, Eels (H)

Last year's finish: 6th

Predicted 2023 finish: 1st

TAB odds: Premiers: $5.50, Top 4: $1.65, Final 8: $1.16, Most Losses: $201

Wests Tigers

Home Grounds: CommBank Stadium Parramatta, Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Tim Sheens

It's the start of a whole new era for the Tigers after they sacked coach Michael Maguire last year, and have since brought in Tim Sheens and Benji Marshall, hoping to recapture some of the club's 2005 magic. They have also been busy on the player market, with their best acquisition Api Koroisau joining David Klemmer and Isaiah Papali'i in a revamped pack. Things are looking up with the ever present underlying hope that Luke Brooks and Adam Doueihi might finally deliver on their promise in the halves .

Best side: 1. Daine Laurie, 2. David Nofoaluma, 3. Tommy Talau, 4. Brent Naden, 5. Charlie Staines, 6. Adam Doueihi, 7. Luke Brooks, 8. Stefano Utoikamanu, 9. Api Koroisau, 10. David Klemmer, 11. John Bateman, 12. Isaiah Papali'i, 13. Joe Ofahengaue. Bench: 14. Jake Simpkin, 15. Alex Twal, 16. Fonua Pole, 17. Alex Seyfarth

Biggest loss: Jackson Hastings Biggest gain: Api Koroisau

First five: Titans (H), Knights (H), Bulldogs (A), Storm (A), Broncos (A)

Last year's finish: 16th

Predicted 2022 finish: 13th

TAB odds: Premiers: $41, Top 4: $12, Final 8: $3.30, Most Losses: $10

TAB odds accurate at time of publish - please visit tab.com.au for the latest.