Home Ground: Pepper’s Stadium, Penrith
Coach: Anthony Griffin
2015 finish: 11th
2015 top point scorer: Matt Moylan, 50
2015 top tryscorer: David Simmons, 9
2015 Player of the Year: Tyrone Peachey
Gains: Benjamin Garcia (Catalans Dragons), Te Maire Martin (Tigers), Trent Merrin (Dragons)
Losses: Lewis Brown (Sea Eagles), Jamal Idris (released), Isaac Joghn (Sea Eagles), Brent Kite (retired), Api Koroisau (Sea Eagles), Sika Manu (Hull KR), Ben Murdoch-Masila (Salford Red Devils), David Simmons (retired)
It is unusual for critics, before a pass has been thrown or a ball kicked, to predict a rookie who is yet to make a senior appearance will be the stand-out performer for his club.
But that’s what the experts are forecasting about 20-year-old stand-off Te Maire Martin.
The 20-year-old has represented the Junior Kiwis during the past two seasons and is seen as a future Benji Marshall. As the captain of Wests Tigers Holden Cup (Under-20s) side, the world was his oyster. But he had fellow prodigies Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks in front of him, so opted for a change in clubs.
His form in the trial matches indicates he made the right choice, pushing both Jamie Soward and Peter Wallace for a spot in Penrith’s star-studded first grade lineup.
Kiwi Test utility back Peter Hiku has come from Manly joining his New Zealand team-mate Dean Whare. Exciting fullback Matt Moylan returns from injury. He was in Australia’s 2014 Four Nations squad without playing a game.
Winger Josh Mansour has represented both Australia and Lebanon. Another Junior Kiwi, fullback cum winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, has twice missed out on the Kiwis Test team through injury.
Australian Test forward Trent Merrin has switched from the Dragons to join Kiwi Test men Sam McKendry and Suaia Matagi, ex-Kumuls hooker James Segeyaro and Prime Minister’s XIII prop Jeremy Latimore to add experience to the young Penrith pack bristling with the likes of Tyrone Peachey, Bryce Cartwright and Reagan Campbell-Gillard.