With the NRL season just around the corner, clubs’ recruitment success will soon be thrown into the limelight. But, just which ten transfers attract the eye heading into the 2021 campaign?
10. Joseph Suaalii – South Sydney Rabbitohs to Sydney Roosters
17-year-old sensation Joseph Suaalii will unlikely start the season playing first-grade, but a trial game over the weekend allowed the youngster to showcase his talents. Suaalii scored two tries for the North Sydney Bears against the Canberra Raiders and is expected to become an overnight success when he eventually makes his NRL debut.
9. Reimis Smith – Canterbury Bulldogs to Melbourne Storm
One new signing that has gone under the radar during the off-season is Reimis Smith to the Storm. The former Bulldog is expected to replace Suliasi Vunivalu on the right wing for the reigning premiers and has the potential to become one of the game’s best finishers now that he is in a team that is going to create plenty of chances. Expect him to bag a lot of tries in 2021.
8. Tyson Frizell – St George Illawarra Dragons to Newcastle Knights
Tyson Frizell’s last two seasons at the Dragons were underwhelming to the say the least, but the New South Wales and Australia representative will be looking to get back to his best under new head coach Adam O’Brien. If he is successful in finding his best form in 2021, he will no doubt help his new side push for a top four spot at the end of the season.
7. Corey Allan – South Sydney Rabbitohs to Canterbury Bulldogs
The first of two new Bulldog recruits that makes our list is former Rabbitoh Corey Allan. After the injury to Latrell Mitchell last season, Allan stepped up to the challenge of replacing him, and did so in tremendous fashion. In fact, he did so well, he was selected in the Queensland Origin team. Allan could prove to be the best fullback to line up for the Bulldogs since Ben Barba.
6. Jai Arrow – Gold Coast Titans to South Sydney Rabbitohs
Former Titan Jai Arrow will join an already star-studded forward pack in 2021 with the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Arrow and his fellow forwards will aim to pave the way for Souths’ backline to wreak havoc once again. After falling just short of a Grand Final last season, the 25-year-old will hope to be the final piece of the puzzle for the Rabbitohs as they strive for another Premiership.
5. Kyle Flanagan – Sydney Roosters to Canterbury Bulldogs
After a harsh exit from the Sydney Roosters last season, Kyle Flanagan has found himself at the Bulldogs. The 22-year-old has signed a three-year-deal with his new club, and under the tutelage of former NRL half-back Trent Barrett, Flanagan will aim to develop his game to become one of the league’s star halves.
4. James Tamou – Penrith Panthers to Wests Tigers
Veteran prop James Tamou was a big factor behind the Panthers’ 17-game winning streak last year. He now makes the move to the Tigers, and despite not yet making an appearance for the club, has already been given the captaincy. Tamou’s experience will bring much needed consistency to the Tigers as they hope to make the top eight after nine consecutive seasons in which they have fallen short.
3. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui – Melbourne Storm to Gold Coast Titans
Tino Fa’asuamaleaui is one of three major signings for the Gold Coast Titans that will project their forward pack to a new level in the upcoming season. After recording five wins from five at the end of last season, the Titans became one of the league’s most in-form teams, and they will be growing more and more confident that they can make the eight at the end of the upcoming campaign. A lot of this expectation will lie on the shoulders of their new recruits.
2. Addin Fonua-Blake – Manly Sea Eagles to New Zealand Warriors
After a high-profile departure from the Manly Sea-Eagles, Addin Fonua-Blake makes the move to New Zealand with the Warriors. Alongside fellow new recruit Ben Murdoch-Masila, Fonua-Blake will look to bring a huge presence to the Warriors forward pack that will hopefully bring some much needed consistency to his new side.
1. David Fifita – Brisbane Broncos to Gold Coast Titans
Our number one signing for the 2021 season, David Fifita is one of the game’s most promising young forwards. At the age of just 20, Fifita has already become a Queensland representative and represented Australia in the World 9s tournament. He and fellow new recruits Tino Fa’asuamaleaui and Herman Ese’Ese will hope that their talents will lead to a top eight finish at the end of the year, and, given the form that the Titans ended with last season, it will be exciting to see just how well they fare in 2021.