Raiders winger Nick Cotric.

The departure of two props and recruitment of two Super League stars headline the Raiders' roster movements heading into 2019.

Sia Soliola and English recruit Ryan Sutton are likely to form the new engine room in place of departed props Junior Paulo and Shannon Boyd. Another English recruit, Test star John Bateman, will be jostling with two other Test regulars in Joe Tapine and Elliott Whitehead for back row spots.

Michael Oldfield is set to replace the injured Jordan Rapana for the first half of the season. Fullback Jack Wighton will be available for round one after missing the last two months of 2018 through suspension.

Resident NRL.com expert Jamie Soward says:

"Bateman to me could be one of the buys of the year. I've seen him perform the last couple of years for Wigan. The problem with the Raiders is they don't have a number one halfback or five-eighth in their club and haven't for years.

"They need a strike half that can control the team and give them direction in big games. For me, Brad Abbey goes to fullback, Jack Wighton to the wing and Michael Oldfield misses out. Hingano will put pressure on Williams but they don't have a halfback capable of getting them across in big games."

NRL.com's predicted Round 1 team:

  1. Jack Wighton
  2. Nick Cotric
  3. Jarrod Croker
  4. Joey Leilua
  5. Michael Oldfield
  6. Aidan Sezer
  7. Sam Williams
  8. Sia Soliola
  9. Josh Hodgson
  10. Ryan Sutton
  11. Elliott Whitehead
  12. Joe Tapine
  13. Josh Papalii
  14. Siliva Havili
  15. John Bateman
  16. Luke Bateman
  17. Dunamis Lui

Other squad members: Brad Abbey, Ata Hingano, Royce Hunt, Sebastian Kris, Jack Murchie, Jordan Rapana, Emre Guler