What each NRL club has to work on for 2020

Pamela Whaley
Souths will need to find replacements for George and Sam Burgess ... and fast

WHAT YOUR NRL CLUB NEEDS TO WORK ON

Brisbane

If negotiations fail with Brodie Croft and they don't sign another halfback, they'll need to decide between Anthony Milford, Darius Boyd and Jack Bird or players without real first-grade experience to form a halves combination.

Canberra

The grand finalists had a fantastic defensive season but couldn't mentally recover to defend the infamous "six-again" call in the decider. It will haunt them all pre-season and serve as motivation to go one better in 2020.

Canterbury

The Bulldogs had the highest completion rate in the competition in 2019 (79 per cent) but scored the fewest points (326). Converting possession into tries will be vital.

Cronulla

Despite the efforts of Shaun Johnson, Kyle Flanagan and Chad Townsend, the Sharks are coming off a woeful 70 per cent goal-kicking record (second-worst in the NRL) and it cost them several games where they scored more tries than their opposition.

Gold Coast

There's more than one thing to work on for the wooden-spooners. New coach Justin Holbrook will have his work cut out improving defence, attack, commitment, morale and, of course, his roster.

Manly

Their biggest dilemma is who will play No.9 with hooker Manase Fainu indefinitely stood down while he faces criminal charges relating to a stabbing.

Melbourne

The pre-season will be spent teaching young players in key positions to make better decisions under pressure in big games.

Newcastle

The Knights were fifth before losing all but two of their last 10 games to finish 11th. Instilling mental toughness will be the biggest challenge for incoming coach Adam O'Brien.

North Queensland

Attack. The Cowboys lacked flair in 2019, period. They finished last in tacklebreaks and linebreaks and scored just 62 tries - equal to the Gold Coast.

Parramatta

In week one of the finals they beat Brisbane 58-0 and the next were knocked out by Melbourne 38-0. Brad Arthur's biggest challenge is narrowing the gap between the Eels' best and worst.

Penrith

The summer will be about building a combination between Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai. The Panthers were the most-tackled team in the opposition's 20-metre zone last year so need to be a whole lot slicker.

South Sydney

Losing Sam and George Burgess leaves two gaping holes in the Rabbitohs' pack and replacements are needed - fast.

St George Illawarra

Mental toughness. The Dragons had a miserable 2019 season but have the talent and experience to put pride back into the jersey if they get their preparation right.

Sydney Roosters

The two-time premiers will be without Cooper Cronk but Luke Keary will step in to lead the ship. His budding combination with expected No.7 Kyle Flanagan will be crucial.

Warriors

Finding a point of difference that does not come from fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. He's their best player but he needs help. They also leaked 95 tries last season, the third-worst in the NRL.

Wests Tigers

Their defence took a giant step forward in 2019 but their attack was stifled. They will also need to find a replacement for Ryan Matterson, who was their most powerful forward.