RLW prediction: 5th
2016 finish: Premiers Coach Jim Lenihan: The man who helped the Bears to their first title in 10 years isn’t resting on his laurels: “We don’t want to just roll into this year and presume everything is going to click again. We have a lot of new players and that is a blessing in disguise, because it forces us to revisit things and make sure we are getting everything right on and off the field. We’ve added to our forwards with guys like Matt White [Storm] and [former Bulldog and Eel] Lorenzo Ma’afu. I think it was Jack Gibson who said when you have enough forwards, buy another two . . . and then if you still have enough, buy another two again.”
Player to watch: “Our fullback Kurtis Rowe came to us last year from the Wests Tigers and his acceleration is outstanding, he has a strong carry at the back and he organises us well in defence. He’s around the 90kg mark and he gives us that attacking spark to create something out of nothing.”
KEY GAINS: Henare Wells (Warriors), Matt White (Storm), Lorenzo Ma’afu (Townsville Blackhawks), Harry Seijka (Bulldogs), Tyler Cornish (Roosters)
KEY LOSSES: Jamal Fogarty (Eels), Cameron Cullen (Sea Eagles), Paterika Vaivai (Titans)
EX-TIGER BURNS BRIGHT Kurtis Rowe was a two-try hero for the Bears in last year’s grand final victory.