Top 10 Transfers That Didn't Hit The Headlines
These 10 men might not have dominated the headlines after signing on the dotted line with a new club ahead of the 2017 Telstra Premiership season, but their value isn't lost on those at NRL.com.
This article first appeared on NRL.com.
Robbie Rochow (Rabbitohs)
Once seen as a future leader in Newcastle, Rochow's game time has been limited of late as a host of injuries ruined his final two seasons at the club. Now on a one-year deal at the Rabbitohs, Rochow is now far removed from his comfort zone and is ready to let his football do the talking in Redfern this year.
Ben Hampton (Cowboys)
A season-ending knee injury to promising rake Josh Chudleigh and the departure of Rory Kostjasyn has opened the door for Hampton to shore up a first-grade berth at the Cowboys. The 24-year-old notched 36 games NRL games during his time at the Storm but struggled for minutes. Regardless, Hampton is North Queensland's biggest signing for 2017 and will likely share dummy-half duties with Jake Granville.
Nene Macdonald (Dragons)
The Papua New Guinea international and World All Stars representative didn't sign with the Red V just to make up the numbers. While the Dragons' depth in the outside backs will present its challenges to the former Titan, Macdonald is coming off a career-best season having helped the Gold Coast make their first foray to finals football in six seasons.
Shaun Lane (Sea Eagles)
Rangy back-rower Shaun Lane's NRL career has been in limbo following his breakout 2015 season at the Bulldogs. In April last year, Lane was swapped to the Warriors in exchange for Raymond Faitala-Mariner and only played one game at the Auckland club. But with Tom Symonds, Liam Knight, Blake Leary and Nathan Green all released by the Sea Eagles, now is as good a time as any for the 22-year-old to re-establish himself in the NRL.
Ken Sio (Knights)
The 2017 season will be the first in nine seasons that the Newcastle Knights will be without wing duo James McManus and Akuila Uate – two former New South Wales Origin representatives who scored 182 tries for the club. Both have now moved on, and former Parramatta winger Sio will look to help fill that void after signing with the Knights in October. In his 105-game career with the Eels and Hull KR, Sio has found the tryline a whopping 63 times.
David Mead (Broncos)
The Titans legend took to Instagram the day after their heartbreaking qualifying final loss to the Broncos in September to announce he'd signed with Brisbane themselves. The Gold Coast's all-time leading try-scorer's switch will see him resume his deadly combination with James Roberts in 2017. Hashtag 'If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them'.
Richard Kennar and Brenko Lee (Bulldogs)
Sam Perrett's retirement and Curtis Rona's exit to the Western Force spells good news for these two new Bulldogs. Lee's departure from the Raiders was lost in the shuffle in mid-October as he was announced alongside five other fresh arrivals at Canterbury for the upcoming season. Kennar's signature was announced a fortnight later to little fanfare. That should all change once these two explosive utilities earn NRL opportunities under Des Hasler.
Josh Starling (Knights)
The thing about this Newcastle-bound prop is that he's always played part in established forward packs. In 2017, Starling will have the opportunity to be at the forefront for the Knights. The former Sea Eagle's career will have a whole new dynamic if he's to play leader for young guns Josh King, Pauli Pauli and the Saifiti twins.
Daniel Mortimer (Sharks)
Mortimer's Sharks shift was so low-key that the club didn't send a media release about the former Titan's arrival. The premiership-winning utility is a handy pick-up for the reigning premiers following Michael Ennis's recent retirement. Mortimer is expected to don the No.9 jumper ahead of Manaia Cherrington come Round 1.