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Big League Weekly Edition 2020 - Season Preview

Your weekly guide to the NRL season, including the entire Final Series, the souvenir Grand Final program and our bumper Season Review. Every week Big League will feature stories on the big names, preview the big games and continue our popular Little League section for the young rugby league fans. With official team-lists, extensive statistics and up-to-date news, Big League provides everything you need to follow the NRL.

News Life Media Pty Limited
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in this issue

1 min
kicking off

WELCOME to a new season of rugby league. It’s been a long summer where so many families, businesses and wildlife along the east coast of Australia have suffered through bushfires and drought. It’s been heartbreaking to witness. The rugby league community – as always – has been on-hand to help out, and we cover everything your club has or will be doing to raise much-needed funds on pages 18-19. In the meantime, I hope this NRL Season Preview gets you prepared for the footy action ahead. We’ve spoken to coaches and key players across all the clubs about their preparation, strengths and weaknesses. We’ve got every club’s personal draw for the season, their squad stats and top 17s. One of our favourite commentators Andrew Voss has also done some painstaking research to…

1 min
will history three-peat (part two)?

It’s not just the Roosters who are looking to maintain their reign of dominance, with the Broncos hoping to make it three titles in as many years when the NRLW gets underway later this year. A number of changes to both the playing personnel as well as the coaching staff were meant to bring Brisbane down a few rungs in 2019, but instead they seemingly improved as they slayed the Dragons in the decider a week after they suffered their first loss in competition history. PHOTOS: NRLPhotos.com: Gregg Porteous (Blues), Paul Barkley (Broncos)…

9 min
future planning

Coaching rookies The Titans will be hoping the arrival of Justin Holbrook will help turn their fortunes around after they managed just four wins last season en route to the wooden spoon. Holbrook is well-credentialed both at home and abroad and brings with him a winning culture, having helped steer St Helens to success in the English Super League in 2019. It’s a similar scenario in the Hunter as the Knights look to shoot up the ladder following a barren run of outs which has seen them miss out on finals footy since 2013. Incoming coach Adam O’Brien may not have much experience in the top job but that doesn’t mean he won’t get the job done. O’Brien was Craig Bellamy’s right-hand man in Melbourne for a number of years while…

1 min
is a dynasty about to sprout?

Some feared the State of Origin concept was dead after the Maroons claimed their eighth series in a row in 2013. And while the Blues were able to stem the bleeding the following year, Queensland still reigned supreme in the years following. However, the tide appears to be turning, and NSW fans will be praying that the new decade doesn’t halt their momentum. With Brad Fittler at the helm, the Blues have claimed series wins over the past two years, and they’ll start heavy favourites to extend that streak in 2020 with the likes of James Tedesco, Tom Trbojevic and Damien Cook running riot against a Maroons team that is still coming to grips with the loss of several of the greatest players the game has ever seen. All eyes…

1 min
positive thoughts for mose

The thoughts of the rugby league community are with Mose Masoe after he was forced into retirement having suffered a serious spinal injury in a trial game for Hull Kingston Rovers. The former NRL prop was hurt while making a tackle and there are fears he may never walk again. The father of three – with another on the way – relayed a message to his fans via his wife, Carissa. “I can’t begin to express my love and gratitude to everyone that has been helping me and my family at such a hard time we truly are surrounded by amazing people/family,” Masoe said. “Everyone has their own battles that they are fighting themselves and this has become my new battle for now. It’s going to be a long road…

5 min
passing the mark

TEAM MILESTONES Wests Tigers will play their 500th game since joining the premiership in 2000 when they meet the Gold Coast at Cbus Super Stadium in Round 7. Brisbane require six wins to reach the milestone of 500 wins since joining the premiership in 1988. St George Illawarra require 35 tries to bring up the landmark of 2,000 tries since the formation of the game’s first joint venture in 1999. Penrith require 53 tries to notch 4,000 tries since entering the premiership in 1967. The Sydney Roosters require another 310 points to become the first club in premiership history to score 40,000 points. Melbourne play their 600th game since joining the NRL in 1998 when they meet South Sydney at Bankwest Stadium in Round 20. Newcastle will bring up 800 games…