Five players to watch out for this 2024 NRL season

The NRL off-season has been more active this season than I can ever remember, which delivers great storylines to follow from the first kick-off of the season.

Feb 28, 2024, updated Mar 04, 2024

There are always players to watch out for with young talent coming through the ranks and getting their first minutes on the field or cementing a place on the bench or in the starting side.

But this season is a little different with some huge names in the game shifting teams or codes for that matter and the microscope will be on their performances from their first touch of the ball.

The tipsters from have provided their list of ‘Watch out for’ players that have made the list, not necessarily meaning that they are going to have a good season, but you will need to watch out for them going to a new level or potentially being a rubbish move for their new club. A comprehensive list of betting sites is also available here. 

Luke Brooks (Manly Sea Eagles)
The Luke Brooks saga departing the Tigers was as messy as it comes, but the zippy halfback can put that all behind him along with the pressure of the million dollar price tag he was carrying at the Tigers.

The 11-year NRL veteran now gets a fresh start at the Sea Eagles after departing the Tigers, where he has played his entire professional rugby league career.

Brooks will now partner Australian and Queensland halfback Daly Cherry-Evans which will take off the mountain of responsibility of organising and creating that he had at Wests.

Brooks’ running game is his strength and with Cherry-Evans being one of the best kickers in the game, we will see him attack with ball in hand more often than not and causing trouble deep in the line.

With the weight of expectation lifted off his shoulders we could very well see the best of Brooks and finally see what all the hype was about before he got bogged down by being the marquee man at the Tigers.

Jack Wighton (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Jack Wighton’s departure from the Canberra Raiders was well publicised due to him being a one-club man for 12 years since debuting in the NRL back in 2012.

Obviously, Wighton is out to win a premiership before his time is up and felt that he would have a better opportunity elsewhere and Souths was the landing spot.

Wighton has a strong relationship with Rabbitohs marquee man Latrell Mitchell and his connection with the Souths fullback can certainly light things up this season, as we have seen at Origin level for the Blues.

It is not only his combination with Mitchell that opposition teams will be worried about, it is what spark he can possibly create running off the outside of Rabbitohs five-eight Cody Walker.

Walker had the fourth-most try assists in the NRL last season and with Wighton on his shoulder on the left side of the field playing on the inside of Alex Johnston, the Rabbitohs attack is as potent as any.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (New Zealand Warriors)
The Warriors prodigal son will return to the club after a two-year stint in rugby union.

The former Warriors captain turned down big money from Japanese rugby to return to rugby league with New Zealand, where he played six seasons between 2016-2021, winning the Dally M Player of the Year in 2019.

The decision to join the club wasn’t easy, but coach Andrew Webster made sure that he got his man, convincing him through not only countless conversations about the culture change at the club. And also by the team’s performance on the field and the resurging careers of some of his old friends and teammates.

Tuivasa-Sheck will slot into the centres to begin with, as Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad holds down his former fullback position. However, don’t be surprised if we see Roger back there at some stage this season, with Nicoll-Klokstad’s injury history hindering him in previous seasons.

The dual international can be the x-factor that the Warriors were missing last year, and could be the piece that takes them back to the grand final and gives them a chance to win their first ever premiership.

Sua Fa’alogo (Melbourne Storm)
Sua Fa’alogo is another product of the fullback-farm that is the Melbourne Storm. The now Samoan international, who debuted for club and country last season, is at the ripe age of 20 years old and is one of, if not the biggest prospect in the NRL.

We got a taste of what the speedy fullback was made of in the final round of the NRL season and Fa’alogo didn’t disappoint in his debut, scoring two tries and breaking the line twice in the Storm’s win over Brisbane.

He then played for Samoa against Australia in the Pacific Championships and had 17 runs for 164 metres and was denied potentially the try of the tournament after an electric individual masterpiece, being called back for a miniscule knock-on earlier in the piece.

The only question in the 2024 season will be where he fits into the Storm backline with the return of Ryan Papenhuyzen, but we can only hope that we will get to see the flashiness of Sua Fa’alogo sooner rather than later.

Kayal Iro (Cronulla Sharks)
Another product from the Cook Islands, Kayal Iro is expected to play more first-grade this season than the one appearance he had in 2023.

The hard-running centre will be pushing for a permanent spot as an outside back at Cronulla, if that be on the wing or his more familiar place one man in.

Iro was awarded the Knock-On Effect NSW Cup Player of the Year in 2022, scoring 14 tries for the Newtown Jets, he followed that up with 10 tries last season.

The son of Kevin Iro also represented the Cook Islands at the most recent World Cup and last year’s Pacific Championships.

Iro will have to fight for his spot in the backline at Cronulla with the most likely scenario being that he moves into the centres and Sifa Talakai moving to a bench role, alternatively waiting his turn and covering for injury.


Don’t chase your losses. Walk away. Gamble responsibly.

Local News Matters

We strive to deliver the best local independent coverage of the issues that matter to Queenslanders.

Copyright © 2024 InQueensland.
All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy