Best players to watch in NRRRL this season
SPORTS editor Mitchell Craig reveals the top names who can lift their team in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.
Luke Douglas, Ballina
Big name recruit who comes to the club with 349 games experience in the NRL and English Super League.
Douglas, 33, is still young enough to dominate the competition in the front-row and has been injury free for most of his professional career.
He played 215 straight games between 2006-2014 at the Cronulla Sharks and Gold Coast Titans.
Justin Shillingsworth, Byron Bay
A fresh start at Byron Bay after injuries limited his time on the field at Northern United last season.
One of the toughest forwards in the competition and will bring a harder edge to the Red Devils which they were missing last season.
He has also played with Byron Bay hooker Andrew Battese and front-rower Dylan Montgomery when they won a premiership together at Ballina in 2017.
Noah King, Casino
Plenty of potential and will probably spend more time at fullback with a few extra kilos on him this season.
This should be his best year after a few seasons in the top grade and he will be a core part of a young team.
Trevor Bolt, Evans Head
Back at the Bombers after two seasons at Casino and will be looking to replicate his form which helped Evans Head to the preliminary final in 2015.
He still played well at Casino and will have more responsibility without halfback Roy Bell next to him calling the shots.
Hugh Pratt, Marist Brothers
A Marist Brothers junior who is returning to the club after playing under-20s at Manly before finding a home at Redcliffe in the Queensland Cup.
The 24-year-old hooker will likely play halfback with plenty of other dummy half options at the Rams.
It will be the first time Hugh will play with younger brothers Dane and Simon in the top grade.
Wade Riley, Mullumbimby
Arrives at the Giants after a few years playing in one of the better forward packs in the competition at Murwillumbah.
A fresh start will see him play more minutes after he spent too much time on the Mustangs bench last season.
Riley has played in two grand finals and has been joined by halfback Wayde Kelly who could also be in for a big season.
Michael Gordon, Tweed Coast
Straight out of the NRL at the Gold Coast Titans and should make an immediate impact in this competition.
Tweed Coast has always had a big side across the park and the addition of a first class fullback will only strengthen them.
Gordon will play former Dally M medallist Todd Carney and his Byron Bay Red Devils in the first round of the competition in April.