Bold predictions, 23, Victor Radley, Brandon Smith, Jeremiah Nanai, Paul Gallen,

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The NRL returns in just two months and has looked into the crystal ball to bring you 23 bold predictions for 2023.

There are some big calls on this list and no doubt there will be plenty of swings and misses, but others will prove prophetic.

We’ll report back at the end of the year on how we fared!!

Adam Reynolds, Tim Sheens and Sam Walker. Getty
Adam Reynolds, Tim Sheens and Sam Walker. GettySource: Getty Images

Origin rules to change

Under the current rules, players who have resided in New South Wales or Queensland prior to their 13th birthday are eligible – unless they’ve represented England or New Zealand.

It means the likes of Victory Radley and Jordan Rapana cannot play despite going to primary school in Sydney and on the Gold Coast respectively.

The pressure is mounting on head office and we’re tipping them to change the rules ahead of the series opener this year.

Dolphins to play finals

Almost everyone is writing off the Dolphins because they haven’t signed a marquee man but Wayne Bennett has still assembled a quality squad.

Star forwards Kenny and Jesse Bromwich, Felise Kaufusi and Tom Gilbert will set the platform for Anthony Milford to return to his best.

Bennett has an incredible win record in his 35 years of first-grade coaching and if his squad can stay healthy they’ll sneak into the top eight.

Sam Walker to replace DCE as Maroons No. 7

If the Blues wrap up the series in the opening two games – which we expect they will – DCE will be dropped.

That will see Billy Slater hand Walker his Queensland debut in the dead rubber, following in the footsteps of his uncle Chris.

Cherry-Evans will be 35 by the time the 2024 series rolls around and the baton will be passed to Walker permanently.

Latrell Mitchell wins the Dally M Medal

Mitchell has always had the talent to be crowned the best player in the game and in 2023 he’ll match his skill set with consistency.

The Rabbitohs superstar wins games off his own back and is learning to control his aggression.

On the back of signing a long-term extension, Mitchell will play with not only freedom but maturity next season that will see him win the Dally M Medal.

Bateman signs 4 years with Tigers | 00:31

Tim Sheens to guide Tigers back to finals

Tim Sheens is back baby – and so is Benji Marshall – and so are the Wests Tigers.

The Tigers haven’t played since 2011 back when – you guessed it – Sheens was coaching Marshall was the star playmaker.

We’re tipping Sheens and Marshall to get Luke Brooks back to his best and the halfback will end his streak as the most experienced player in the NRL without featuring in finals.

Jarrod Croker plays 300th NRL game

The heart and soul of the Canberra Raiders has been stranded in the nervous 290s for over 18 months now.

Croker played just one NRL game in 2022 as multiple injuries saw him struggle to find his form and crack back into first grade.

But we’re backing Ricky Stuart to find eight games for the club legend in 2023 to ensure he reaches the 300 mark.

Nicho Hynes top…

Read More: Bold predictions, 23, Victor Radley, Brandon Smith, Jeremiah Nanai, Paul Gallen, 2023-01-01 22:14:24

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