The Bulldogs should only get better in 2013 with Manly giant Tony Williams on board.
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SIX THINGS: We rate the NRL's most important player moves for next season
6. Beau Scott (Knights)
Scott follows Newcastle coach Wayne Bennett from the Dragons to the Knights, albeit 12 months later than the seven-time premiership-winning mentor. Scott's versatility of being able to play either in the back-row or the centres will be welcomed by Newcastle with open arms. With his strength being in defence, he'll add some balance to the Knights' pack if he does spend time in the forwards, which currently boasts ball-carrying enforcers Willie Mason and Kade Snowden. Scott has Origin experience under his belt, and is one of the select few New South Welshmen to have donned the Australian jersey in Queensland's recent era of dominance.
5. Dave Taylor (Titans)
There is no better example of Taylor's Jekyll and Hyde tendencies than during State of Origin this season. He was dumped from Queensland's team for the decider after an error-riddled showing in game two at ANZ Stadium, but he recovered by earning the man of the match award in the Rabbitohs' win over the Panthers in round 17, just three days prior to game three. When the 188cm and 122kg Taylor is in form, there is no forward more dangerous in the competition. However, inconsistency has plagued his game and he has made this list for no other reason than his obvious potential, which has seen him represent Australia as well as the Maroons. Titans coach John Cartwright will get the opportunity to maximise that potential. If he can, look out.
4. Michael Gordon (Sharks)
Cronulla will be hoping Gordon's run of bad luck is behind him. The injury-prone 28-year-old goal-kicker played only seven games with the Panthers in 2011, suffering a broken fibula in round one and not returning until round 21. However, if he stay can fully fit, he'll be a tremendous acquisition for the Sharks. Gordon, who made his State of Origin debut in 2010, is a polished performer who rarely plays a bad game. His professionalism and attitude is second to none, and he will be a key factor in Cronulla's now realistic bid to become a genuine premiership contender rather than a lower top eight outfit.
Check out all the player moves for 2013
3. James Maloney (Roosters)
Maloney replaces Braith Anasta at five eighth for the tricolours with Anasta joining the Wests Tigers. One can't help but feel the club's decision not to re-sign Anasta and to recruit Maloney is a masterstroke. Maloney is an established playmaker in the prime of his career at 26 years of age, and perhaps being out of sight and out of mind at the Warriors is the only reason he hasn't yet had a taste of State of Origin. He was also instrumental in the Warriors' 2011 charge to the grand final. Anasta, on the other hand, is in the twilight of his career at 30, and hasn't shown consistent form since 2010 when the Bondi-based club reached the NRL decider. The addition of Maloney can have Chooks fans feeling confident about an immediate revival next year.
2. Tony Williams (Bulldogs)
When on song, Williams is without question one of the most damaging ball runners in the NRL. At 23, he has already played for NSW and Australia and won a premiership with Manly in 2011 - an impressive rugby league CV in anyone's books. But there is no doubting that Williams didn't shine under Geoff Toovey's coaching in 2012, producing indifferent form throughout a season interrupted by suspension and injury. His tendency to make unforced errors will be a concern for new coach Des Hasler, but the way we see it, there's no better man to turn Williams' form and fortunes around than the two-time premiership coach, who got the best out of him during his time at the Sea Eagles. The pair's renewed acquaintance will result in Williams being one of 2013's best buys.
1. Luke Lewis (Sharks)
Lewis could be the missing piece of the puzzle for the Sharks. He was a part of a premiership with the Panthers in 2003, and boasts years of representative experience with NSW and Australia. Skipper Paul Gallen has carried the Cronulla pack season after season, but he now finally has a helper of similar representative pedigree. Lewis will take the pressure off Gallen by reducing his workload, which will result in an increase of his effectiveness and impact. Lewis is the superstar the Sharks, a club that has developed a losing culture in recent seasons (with the exception of 2012), has been crying out for.
Editor's note: This article was published before the signing of Scott Prince to the Brisbane Broncos and Sonny Bill Williams to the Sydney Roosters.
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of BigPond Sport.
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