RLW prediction: Bottom third
2016 finish: Eighth Coach Ty Williams: Despite the early end to their 2016 season, Pride CEO Greg Dowling told the
Cairns Post back in November, “We’ve got a team of real good goers here.” New coach Williams agrees wholeheartedly: “We are a young squad and we’re excited. The guys know that I will give them an opportunity and it is theirs to take. In key areas we are going with a few young guys – in the halves, Jared Allen [aged 24]and Jordan BiondiOdo [aged 23]. We have ticked all the right boxes in the off-season and will look to make the semis.”
Player to watch: “Connor Jones has come out of the 20s system at the Bulldogs and he’s a hooker/half who gives us a bit of X-factor that we’ve missed for a few years. He plays with the unknown, he’s very energetic and he gives us a bit of versatility as well.”
KEY GAINS: William Bugden (Tweed Heads), Connor Jones (Canterbury Bulldogs), Troy Kapea (Townsville Blackhawks)
KEY LOSSES: Linc Port (Easts Tigers), Jack Svendsen (Easts Tigers), Vaipuna Tia Kilifi (Mt Pritchard Mounties)
ENTER THE X-FACTOR Emerald Tigers junior Connor Jones will be a surprise packet.