Canterbury Bulldogs: 2019 Round 1 predicted team

Second-year coach Dean Pay will have a significantly overhauled roster at his disposal for round one 2019 as the club looks to build on a bright and encouraging finish to an otherwise frustrating 2018.

The Bulldogs recruited heavily over the 2018-19 off-season with fullback Nick Meaney, props Dylan Napa and Sauaso Sue and back-rower Corey Harawira-Naera the most likely to be in the 17 come round one.

A fit-again Kieran Foran will return to the halves alongside 2018 discovery Lachlan Lewis while Will Hopoate switches from fullback to centre to replace Josh Morris. A fit-again Marcelo Montoya will have competition from Christian Crichton for Brett Morris's vacated wing spot.

Resident NRL.com expert Jamie Soward says:

"It all depends on whether the young guys can keep that level of intensity and excitement they had at the back end of 2018. They've got plenty of talent in the back row. Can Rhyse Martin keep it up, we'll have to wait and see. I would have Marshall-King on the bench ahead of Fa'amanu Brown, he gives some excitement out of dummy half and a point of difference in their attack.

"It's a changing of the guard for the Dogs, they could have another couple of tough years but they've stripped it right back. They'll surprise a few teams but they will be down the lower end of the ladder."

NRL.com's predicted Round 1 team:

  1. Nick Meaney
  2. Marcelo Montoya
  3. Will Hopoate
  4. Kerrod Holland
  5. Reimis Smith
  6. Lachlan Lewis
  7. Kieran Foran
  8. Dylan Napa
  9. Michael Lichaa
  10. Aiden Tolman
  11. Josh Jackson
  12. Rhyse Martin
  13. Adam Elliott
  14. Fa'amanu Brown
  15. Sauaso Sue
  16. Corey Harawira-Naera
  17. Raymond Faitala-Mariner

Other squad members: Danny Fualalo, Christian Crichton, Jack Cogger, Jeremy Marshall-King, Ofahiki Ogden, Jayden Okunbor, John Olive, Zac Saddler, Chris Smith, Renouf To'omaga, Francis Tualau, Brandon Wakeham