Well, here we are. Just weeks away from the start of the 2013 NRL season, one that not only have we as the fans been waiting an age for, but one that promises so much as teams fight it out for the premiership.

With some teams recruiting stronger than others, some addressing core issues of their side and others losing key players, there is sure to be some entertaining clashes as players go up against their former team-mates, vying for the victories that propel them up the NRL ladder.

So, without further ado, here’s my take on what each respective NRL team will offer this year, starting with the Brisbane Broncos. Note, I won’t be writing ladder positions as such, I’ll merely preview the side as a whole factoring in their gains, losses, current players and how it will affect them and their overall chances.

Brisbane Broncos

Much as been made of the Broncos chances of winning the premiership over the last few years, but things have not fallen into place in Brisbane as the fans would have liked, given the retirement of club stalwart and legend, Darren Lockyer.
Regarded as one of the best halves that the game as ever seen, since his retirement, the club, at times, have looked brilliant, as individual players have led from the front, both young and old.
At other times, however, they tended to look lethargic and frazzled, waiting for each other to do something, anything, before the game got out of their reach.

With a new season, however, comes fresh hope for the Broncos and with the key addition of Scott Prince to their halves, fans will be hopeful that he can provide some creativity and leadership from the position, something that Locky did so well and so consistently, for so many years.

Since his departure, however, the expectation to emulate the success of Lockyer has no doubt weighed on the mind of the Broncos halves, hence their inconsistencies in 2012, in particular.
Emulating the success of one of the best players to pull on an NRL jersey, is never an easy feat, and the pressure will once again be on the Broncos halves, including Prince, to get the required results.

The question on Prince, however, is whether he can get into a groove immediately for the side producing instant results, or will he need time to re-adjust himself to Brisbane after a lengthy period of time away from the area.
Prince joins the Broncos from the Titans as you all know, and whilst not guaranteed a starting spot by Broncos coach Anthony Griffin just yet, you would imagine that it is more than likely that he will partner Peter Wallace in the halves for the Broncos.

With a good mix of experience across the Broncos ranks – the likes of Sam Thaiday, Ben Hannant, Corey Parker, Justin Hodges and Alex Glenn, fans would be expecting a lot from these players, given their experience – particularly as a means to educate and nurture the younger players coming through, some of which are likely to start the season due to other injuries.

Regarded as a rugby league nursery, it is the emergence of young players like Lachlan Maranta, Aaron Whitchurch, Jarrod Wallace, Brendon Gibb and others, that have Broncos fans excited for the future and excited for the potential these young players have to succeed in the NRL.

With a strong balance across the board between youth and experience, fans will have high expectations of the Broncos, and with the caliber of players they have, anything is possible.
As is always the case every year, however, Origin time is a period that often hits the Broncos hard, forcing them to play a multitude of youngsters, often producing inconsistent results.

With the likelihood that new half Scott Prince will not be selected for Origin duties, he may well turn out to be the calming, experienced influence that the side has lacked during the tough Origin period, as well as acting as a mentor and leader for the younger players who are given opportunities to prove their worth.

The big question, however – is Scott Prince the answer to the Broncos recent ailing halves issues, or will dissension form on the field with his arrival, causing some players to start poorly? Will they be able to gel together as a unit in time, or will it be regarded as a work in progress?
With a relatively poor overall performance by the halves last year, the likes of Corey Norman, Peter Wallace and Ben Hunt will be keen to make amends for their performances last year, knowing full well that Scott Prince is hungry for the starting spot, and with his experience, you would be hard pressed not to pick him in your side.

With the pressure all on coach Anthony Griffin amid rumours of possible disharmony in the Broncos ranks, his role will be to gather his troops and prep them for the start of the season starting with a tough first round clash against Manly, knowing full well that any poor start may see him dismissed, something that many Broncos fans may disagree with should it happen.

1. Josh Hoffman
2. Lachlan Maranta
3. Justin Hodges
4. Jack Reed
5. Jordan Kahu
6. Peter Wallace
7. Scott Prince
8. Josh McGuire
9. Andrew McCullough
10. Ben Hannant
11. Alex Glenn
12. Sam Thaiday (C)
13. Corey Parker

14. Ben Hunt
15. Matt Gillett
16. Scott Anderson
17. David Stagg

By ricky

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