Gold Coast have added some intriguing talent to their ranks for the 2019 as they look to improve on another disappointing year whilst the Raiders have the talent in their squad but underperformed in 2018.
Catalans travel to Hull KR hoping to put last week's shambolic effort behind them whilst also looking for their first away win this season. That might be a tough ask against Rovers who are usually solid at home and after they produced a great defensive effort against Wakefield they will be on a high.
Penrith will be hoping the return of Ivan Cleary can be the catalyst for success in 2019 but they could face an inconsistent season if their home form doesn't hold up like last season. The Eels look set for another struggle too and that will start with a loss in Round 1 with the Panthers having too much for them.
Castleford were only able to recall one player from their injury list this week with last week's game against Warrington one match too far for the Tigers as they went down to their first loss of the season. They struggled with Warrington's big pack and Salford could pose a similar threat this week.
Wests and Manly both have new men at the helm and will be hoping to put their coaching distractions behind them in Round 1. Neither side have significantly improved their squads from last year but the Tigers will hope Michael Maguire's arrival can improve their attacking play.
New Zealand Warriors begin a new era without halfback Shaun Johnson with Stephen Kearney's men looking to improve on last season's eighth-placed finish. They host a Bulldogs side that ended the season well last season but a tough trip to Mt Smart should see them begin 2019 with a defeat.
North Queensland have the biggest void to fill in the NRL in 2019 with Johnathan Thurston hanging up his boots meaning the Cowboys will have a new halfback combination. This opening test against the Dragons might answer some lingering questions for both teams.
In a repeat of last season's Grand Final, reigning champions Wigan head into the game with just one win all season and look like they have a long season ahead.
Leeds were heavily defeated by Hull last week with the Rhinos coming under scrutiny for poor attacking play and ill-discipline with head coach David Furner referring to some of their play as a 'car crash' and with London working hard in defence, there will need to be a big reaction this week.
Hull have found their feet after ending their long losing run and produced a striking result against Leeds last week to continue their turnaround. They now host a Wakefield side that failed to score last week and with the Black and Whites full of confidence this poses a tough test for the away side.
Sydney Roosters were hugely impressive champions last season and look capable of going back-to-back, becoming the first side to do so in over 25 years. Their opening encounter against bitter rivals South Sydney will tell us a lot about their intentions and they can lay down a big marker for the year.
Newcastle made huge strides last season as they ended their run of finishing bottom of the ladder by avoiding the wooden spoon in 2018. They will now hope Kalyn Ponga and Mitchell Pearce can guide them to the play-offs and will look to kick off their 2019 with a win.
This match-up between Six Nations whipping boys Italy and France could hold some surprises, with a young Italian side at home hungry to provide their fans with a first Six Nations win for six years as a nod to their bright futures.
Despite performing well in most of their matches, Scotland look set to finish the Six Nations with just the one victory as they face England here.