Corey Norman ... fighting it out with Scott Prince for the Five-eigth spot at Brisbane. Photo: Getty Images
Nathan Fien v Josh Drinkwater: Halfback (St George Illawarra)
Coach Steve Price has the option of choosing between youth and experience for the vacant No.7 jersey left by the retirement of former skipper Ben Hornby. Veteran Fien is narrowly ahead of rookie Drinkwater, who joined St George Illawarra from Manly in the off-season, in their bid to partner Jamie Soward in the halves. It's a decision that will affect Price's hooker rotation. If Fien misses out on the halfback position, he's likely to be used off the bench as a replacement for Mitch Rein, which will see Cameron King miss out altogether.
Beau Champion v Bryson Goodwin: Centre (South Sydney)
Two of South Sydney's recruits will be going head-to-head on Saturday for one position against Newcastle. There is a question mark over who will play in the centres to start the year. Dylan Farrell and Matt King both have their injury concerns, but at least one of them is expected to be fit by round one. Chris McQueen has been named in the centres for Saturday's trial but he'll likely move back to the second row, leaving Goodwin and Champion in a battle for one position. Goodwin has spent most of his career on the wing, but Nathan Merritt and Andrew Everingham appear to have a stranglehold on those positions.
Frank Paul Nu'uausala v Mitch Aubusson v Boyd Cordner: Second row (Sydney Roosters)
Sonny Bill Williams will play on the right side of the field in the back row, leaving Nu'uausala, Aubusson and Cordner in contention for the other second-row and lock positions. Coach Trent Robinson has a huge opinion of Cordner, even though he's only 20. . All three of them have been named in this Saturday night's trial against Manly at Bluetongue Stadium. Nu'uausala has been used as an impact player off the bench in the past, but it remains unclear just how Robinson plans to use him this year.
Luke Kelly v Ben Roberts: Five-eighth (Parramatta)
While there is plenty of conjecture over the structure of the forward pack at Parramatta this year, the biggest decision Ricky Stuart has to make before round one is who will partner Chris Sandow in the halves.
Roberts endured more lows than highs in a disappointing season last year under former coach Stephen Kearney, and was eventually replaced by former Melbourne playmaker Luke Kelly midway through the season. Kelly's year ended prematurely because of injury but has been given first crack at the No.6 jersey in Saturday night's trial against the Wests Tigers.
Dean Whare v Wes Naiqama: Fullback (Penrith)
The departure of Michael Gordon to Cronulla, as well as Lachlan Coote's transition to the halves, has opened the door for several players to put their hands up for the vacant fullback position. While Josh Mansour was used in that position last year, it's now a two-horse race between new recruits Whare and Naiqama. Whare, who made his Kiwi debut in October, will get first crack at it in Saturday's trial against the Warriors, with Naiqama named in the centres.
Michael Morgan v Robert Lui v Ray Thompson: Halfback (North Queensland)
These are the three players doing battle against the Dragons in Cairns on Saturday in a bid to push their bid for the honour of partnering Johnathan Thurston in the halves. With Lui out suspended for all of last year, Thompson started the year in the No.7 jersey inside of Thurston. But an injury paved the way for Morgan to slot into the role, with the 21-year-old called in to play the last eight games of the year, including two finals matches. Lui has now given coach Neil Henry a triple dilemma.
Corey Norman v Scott Prince: Five-eighth (Brisbane)
Peter Wallace is guaranteed to remain at halfback, leaving Norman and veteran Prince to fight it out for the No.6 jersey. Norman will start at five-eighth in Saturday's trial against Gold Coast, with coach Anthony Griffin naming Prince on an extended bench for the game against his former club. Norman's versatility could work against him, with Griffin tossing up using him as a utility player off the bench. While Norman had a strong start to last season, he faltered towards the finals and is yet to prove himself as a seasoned player.
Albert Kelly v Beau Henry: Halfback (Gold Coast)
Scott Prince's defection to Brisbane has left a gaping hole in the Titans' halves ranks. They've signed Marmin Barba from Parramatta and Albert Kelly from Newcastle, but it's likely to come down to Kelly and Beau Henry. Kelly is the frontrunner for the right to partner Aidan Sezer in the halves, named at halfback for the trial against the Broncos. Coach John Cartwright has also named Henry on an extended bench, with both players to be given the opportunity to prove themselves worthy of selection for round one.
Ben Henry v Elijah Taylor: Second row (Warriors)
With Simon Mannering and Feleti Mateo established in the back row, a battle looms between two of the club's most promising youngsters for the vacant position in the back-row. Elijah Taylor, who debuted last year, and Henry, who enjoyed a stellar rookie season in 2012, have been earmarked as future leaders of the club. Taylor, who has been named at hooker for the trial against Penrith in Hamilton on Saturday, will be trialled in the unfamiliar role because of the injury to Nathan Friend, but is likely to find himself in the back row by round one.
Daniel Tupou v Roger Tuivasa-Sheck v Michael Oldfield: Wing (Sydney Roosters)
With Michael Jennings and Shaun Kenny-Dowall guaranteed the centre positions, and Tautau Moga not due back from injury until July, Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has to fit three into two positions.