16 NRL Players With Most To Prove In 2017

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16 NRL Players With Most To Prove In 2017

Corey Norman of Parramatta Photo: Getty Images

BRISBANE - Benji Marshall

The 31-year-old appeared headed for retirement after being blamed for St George-Illawarra's attacking woes last season but was thrown a lifeline by Wayne Bennett in the summer.

CANBERRA - Dave Taylor

There is no guarantee the former State of Origin star will still be here past March, so there's an early deadline on Taylor to impress Ricky Stuart enough to get a deal.

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CANTERBURY - Moses Mbye

It's no secret that a contract extension for champion coach Des Hasler is dependent on the Bulldogs vying for a title. This brings into focus Moses Mbye, the dynamic halfback who can transform this team's attack.

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CRONULLA - Manaia Cherrington

There is no other job more difficult in the NRL this year than stepping into the boots of hooker Michael Ennis. The 'Menace' has passed the baton to the inexperienced rake once considered the heir to Robbie Farah at the Wests Tigers.

GOLD COAST - Jarryd Hayne

With an Australian summer under his belt, anything but a Dally M-esque season in 2017, complete with a standout Origin campaign, will be considered a let down for the Hayne Plane.

MANLY - Daly Cherry-Evans

It's be hard to find a player taking up more of his team's salary cap than the Sea Eagles No.7. The newly-appointed captain needs a bounce-back year if the Sea Eagles are going to stay in the hunt for the finals.

MELBOURNE - Billy Slater

No one would've blamed Slater for walking away after a bung shoulder gave him two years of hell. With a premiership window closing fast for the club's big three, the pressure will be on for Slater to be at his best.

NEWCASTLE - Jarrod Mullen

The injury-plagued 29-year-old hasn't played more than 16 games in each of his past three seasons and coach Nathan Brown has already hinted at pulling Mullen out of the halves into a halfback-hooker role.

NORTH QUEENSLAND - Kalyn Ponga

He won't pull on a Newcastle jumper for another year, but that won't stop the 18-year-old being forced to live up to the expectations that come with signing one of the biggest deals in recent memory.

PARRAMATTA - Corey Norman

Norman has had plenty of time to stew on the eight-match ban and $20,000 fine for a series of indiscretions. The fact Parramatta stood by him with a reported $2.2 million contract means he has some making up to do.

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PENRITH - James Tamou

He arrives in Sydney having lost his aura as arguably the best front-rower in Australia. The premiership-winner is expected to inject some steel to Penrith's pack.

SOUTH SYDNEY - Robbie Farah

Over six months will have passed since he farewelled Leichhardt. And he'll get no better chance to prove his old club wrong when he takes centre stage against the Tigers in round one.

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ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA - Gareth Widdop

He isn't the only Dragon playing for a new contract this season. But with rumours swirling of a big-money offer for Brisbane's Ben Hunt, it remains to be seen whether Widdop will be in Wollongong beyond 2017.

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SYDNEY ROOSTERS - Mitchell Pearce

His Australia Day atrocity last year ended in an eight-game ban, cost him the captaincy and a $125,000 fine - but the biggest pain was inflicted on the side who limped out of the blocks. The onus is on Pearce to pay his team back.

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WARRIORS - Kieran Foran

No other NRL player has come under more scrutiny over the past year. With the former New Zealand international expected to be given the green light to resume playing, all eyes will be on whether he can bring his best to a success-starved club.

WESTS TIGERS - Jamal Idris

The Tigers are the latest club willing to try their hand at coaxing the best out of the enigmatic Idris, back from his one-year sabbatical. The former NSW and Kangaroos representative has failed to fully deliver on his potential at his past two clubs at Gold Coast and Penrith.

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