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The Roosters are primed to remain at the head of the field while the Warriors struggles look set to continue as we enter a new season.

Jamie Soward's Power Rankings return for 2020, with all 16 teams to get a ranking each week depending on how they're travelling compared to their rivals.

1. Sydney Roosters

The back-to-back champs are going for history yet again. This is the strongest squad in the NRL one-through-25. There are question marks over that left centre position but don't be surprised if they get a veteran in at some stage of the year. They start as favourites in my eyes. I think the Roosters may run out of petrol eventually but they are the real deal for now.

2. Canberra Raiders

It's all down to new halfback George Williams. Last year's grand finalists get a game at home against the Titans round one so they should handle it quite comfortably, but all eyes will be on Williams and both how he adapts to the NRL and how his teammates adjust to him.

3. Parramatta Eels

The question for the Eels is whether they can deliver on the hype stemming from their 2019 form at Bankwest Stadium. It should be packed for round one. I'm expecting them to beat the Dogs first up. If they don't it will take a lot of air out of the balloon.

4. Melbourne Storm

Can they do it again? Probably. The Storm are excellence personified to me. I'm interested to see how they get some of their pieces working – who plays halfback? – but I think they're going to be in there fighting for a championship again.

5. Manly Sea Eagles

Manly were probably my favourite team to watch last year with how they scrapped and gave nothing away. Now that they're not under the radar, I'm looking forward to seeing how they handle that hype. There's no bigger start to the season for them, playing three out of the top four teams from 2019.

6. South Sydney Rabbitohs

I had the Rabbitohs to finish the year eighth, but the more and more you pick this team apart you see how strong they are. Their nine, seven, six and one are up there with the top two or three teams. I want to see how they get Latrell Mitchell the ball and how they use him, whether it's just at fullback or at centre as well.

7. Brisbane Broncos

Coach Anthony Seibold has finally got the halfback he wanted in Brodie Croft. Now, with Darius Boyd announcing his retirement, hopefully, they're a lot more settled and we don't see a disappointing performance in round one.

8. Penrith Panthers

Can Penrith finally deliver on the promise their young crop has shown? It's Nathan Cleary's team now and I think Api Koroisau will help him. But they've got the back-to-back champs first-up and will know where they're at straight away.

Soward’s Power Rankings explained

9. Cronulla Sharks

The Sharks never fully seem like they're settled; there's always a drama at the moment. I think that may affect the start to their year, especially with the Rabbitohs as their first opponents.

10. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

The Bulldogs show promise every year, they've got plenty of young talent, but the problem is consistency. I'm interested to see how they handle the big occasion against the Eels on Thursday night.

11. Wests Tigers

The Tigers have been disappointing having not made the finals since 2011 and finished ninth three of the last four years. They've finally got a strike centre in Joey Leilua but lack a recognised hooker after the injury to Jacob Liddle. That may hurt them early on.

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12. North Queensland Cowboys

A new stadium is a plus, but there are plenty of new pieces for the Cowboys to work in after the arrivals of Valentine Holmes and Reece Robson, and I think it may take a little bit of time to click.

13. Newcastle Knights

Adam O'Brien has come on board as coach and they need to work out ways to get Kalyn Ponga the ball. But for me, the disappointing story of how they finished last year might continue in 2020.

14. St George Illawarra Dragons

The Dragons have a really tough draw to start the season and captain Cameron McInnes is out with a knee injury. I'm interested to see how they change their attack because it was pretty dour in the Charity Shield against the Rabbitohs.

15. Gold Coast Titans

I'm giving the last year's wooden spooners some leeway to start the season given they've got a new coach in Justin Holbrook. But you'd think they're going to stay around the bottom four all season.

16. New Zealand Warriors

The Warriors were underwhelming in the trials, and though I'm not a big fan of reading too much into pre-season games, they haven't recruited as well as some of the other clubs. They were disappointing at home last year and I think they may struggle.

The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.