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The Rock-itt : March 2010
years from new captain Simon Mannering and Manu Vatuvei. 2010 Gains: Brett Seymour (Cronulla Sharks), James Maloney (Melbourne Storm), Jeremy Latimore (Parramatta Eels) 2010 Losses: Stacey Jones (Retired), Evarn Tuimavavae (Newcastle Knights), Leeson Ah Mau (Nth Qld Cowboys), Daniel O'Regan (Melbourne Storm) Knights It hasn't been the best off- season for the Novacastrians. Along with the Danny Wicks scandal which has resulted in the big prop being erased from the roster, and Captain Kurt Gidley suffered a leg injury in the NRL All-Stars VS Aboriginal All- Stars game, which will see their star player miss at least the first 10 round games. Like the NZ side they have kept the signings to a minimum with big forward Evan Tuimvavae their top pick-up. 2010 Gains: Evarn Tuimavavae (New Zealand Warriors), Dale Verstappen (New Zealand) 2010 Losses: Luke MacDougall (Melbourne Storm), Jono Ford (Sydney Roosters) Cowboys The Cowboys were going about their business this off-season, flying under the radar before, in just a span of 3 days; they were the most talked about club in Australian rugby league after signing controversial forward Willie Mason who was publicly dumped by the Sydney Roosters. The signing of Mason, along with Carl Webb and Luke O'Donnell give the Cowboys a formidable forwards pack, but suffer in the backs with Matt Bowen to be M.I.A for most of 2010. 2010 Gains: Shannan Gallant (Wests Tigers), Isaak Ah Mau (Brisbane Broncos), Leeson Ah Mau (New Zealand Warriors), Willie Mason (Sydney Roosters) 2010 Losses: Shane Tronc (Wakefield Trinity), Travis Burns (Penrith Panthers) Eels They were 80 minutes short of their first premiership since the 80's last season and are hotly tipped to go one better this year. After losing virtually nobody from last years roster, and picking up Justin Poore, Shane Shackelton, as well as welcoming back Timana Tahu from the NSW Waratahs Rugby. With a mix of experience through the likes of Hindmarsh and Cayless, and youth through Daniel Mortimer the Eels will be hard to beat. 2010 Gains: Justin Poore (St George Illawarra Dragons), Timana Tahu (NSW Warratahs RU), Shane Shackleton (Sydney Roosters), Grayson Goodwin (Cronulla Sharks) 2010 Losses: Joe Galuvao (Manly Sea Eagles), Todd Lowrie (Melbourne Storm), Kevin Kingston (Penrith Panthers), Broderick Wright (Cronulla Sharks), Taulima Tautai (Cronulla Sharks) Panthers Penrith blew their chance to make the finals last season will some dreadful performances in the final rounds of the season. The Panthers will rely on youthful exuberance to improve of last season with the likes of Jennings, Coote, Sammut and Daine Laurie to provide the points in 2010. They have signed some handy players in Kevin Kingston and Nigel Plum who don't receive the accolades, but always perform. 2010 Gains: Travis Burns (Nth Qld Cowboys), Adrian Purtell (Canberra Raiders), Nigel Plum (Canberra Raiders), Kevin Kingston (Parramatta Eels), Daine Laurie (Wests Tigers), Aaron Sweeney (Brisbane Broncos), Ray Nasso (Parramatta Eels) 2010 Losses: Adam Woolnough (Retired), Junior Tia Kilifi (Canterbury Bulldogs), Geoff Daniela (Wests Tigers), Junior Moors (Wests Tigers), Keith Peters (Released), Joel Orton (Leeds Division 1), Tinirau Arona (Sydney Roosters), Shane Blackett (Cronulla Sharks), Andrew Pearn (Western Suburbs Magpies), Luke Clydesdale (Released) Dragons Last year's Minor premiers were only a shadow of themselves in last year's playoffs and are looking to use 2010 to redeem themselves. Under the watchful eye of Wayne Bennett you can bet the Red V will make the finals this year but the question is will the likes of Soward, Cooper, Creagh, and Hornby help break the Dragons 31 year premiership drought or will the St. George/ Illawarra merger side fail to impress in the month of September once again. 2010 Gains: Peni Tagive (Wests Tigers), Michael Greenfield (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Junior Paulo (Parramatta Eels) 2010 Losses: Justin Poore (Parramatta Eels), Mickey Paea (Canterbury Bulldogs), Wendell Sailor (Retired), Dean Whare (Manly Sea Eagles), Kane Linnett (Sydney Roosters), Warwick Carter (Cronulla Sharks) Rabbitohs When Russell Crowe bought the Rabbitohs in 2006 he promised results, and in 2010 it's time to deliver. They haven' made the most signings but they have made the biggest, literally. The Redfern based club welcome Ben Ross from the Sharks, Dave Taylor from the Broncos, and Sam Burgess from Bradford who has been described as the best player in the Northern Hemisphere. Anything short of a finals birth this season is a major disappointment. 2010 Gains: Dave Taylor (Brisbane Broncos), Sam Burgess (Bradford Bulls), Ben Ross (Cronulla Sharks) 2010 Losses: David Kidwell (Retired), David Fa'alogo (Huddersfield Giants), Jaiman Lowe (Northern Pride QLD Cup) Roosters We all know about the Roosters trouble last season, and to combat that the board has decided to start over. Brian Smith comes from Newcastle in an attempt to reform the Bondi club who also welcome Todd Carney and Jason Ryles. After a horror 2009 which included drunken incidents, and distrust in the boardroom, the jury is still out on whether or not they can go from wooden-spooners to finalists but improvement is near insured. 2010 Gains: Jason Ryles (Catalans Dragons), Todd Carney (Atherton Roosters), Phil Graham (Canberra Raiders), Daniel Conn (Gold Coast Titans), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Manly Sea Eagles) 2010 Losses: Craig Fitzgibbon (Hull FC), Mark O'Meley (Hull FC), Iosia Soliola (St Helens), Shane Shackleton (Parramatta Eels), Setaimata Sa (Catalans Dragons) Tigers They haven't made the finals since they won the premiership in 2005, but there hasn't been a better chance for the Balmain/Wests merger club than this season. With some major new additions to an already skillful line- up, the biggest obviously Lote Tuquri who may miss the start of the year but will make a difference when he pulls on the jersey for the first time as well as Jason Cayless and Liam Fulton who come back from England and bolster there once criticized forward pack. The Tigers however are still sweating on injuries to Benji Marshall and Taniella Tuiaki. 2010 Gains: Jason Cayless (St Helens), Liam Fulton (Huddersfield Giants), Daniel Fitzhenry (Hull KR), Tame Tupou (Bradford Bulls), Mark Flanagan (Wigan Warriors), Mitch Brown (Cronulla Sharks), Geoff Daniela (Penrith Panthers), Junior Moors (Penrith Panthers) 2010 Losses: John Skandalis (Retired), John Morris (Cronulla Sharks), Dean Collis (Cronulla Sharks), Dene Halatau (Canterbury Bulldogs), Danny Galea (Canberra Raiders), Shannan Gallant (Nth Qld Cowboys), Daine Laurie (Penrith Panthers), Peni Tagive (St George Illawarra Dragons)