GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 14: Tyrone Peachey of the Titans looks on after the round 14 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the New Zealand Warriors at Cbus Super Stadium on June 14, 2019 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

One of the very few moments that helps me power through the off-season is seeing new recruits wearing their new team colours.

Sharks fans recently lit up social media when Nicho Hynes was shown wearing the 2022 Sharks jersey, while Dogs fans soon joined them as Josh Addo-Carr and Matt Burton donned the blue and white.

As we've seen in both Belmore and Brisbane, a host of new recruits have completely shifted expectations and have fans of both clubs excited for the future.

Earlier in the month, I asked who would have a better 2022 season Nicho Hynes or Matt Burton? This week we shift focus to two new recruits.

These two may not have created the excitement of the aforementioned Hynes or Burton, but both will play a substantial role in deciding their team's fortunes in 2022 and beyond.

NRL Rd 5 - Eels v Panthers
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 12: Matt Burton of the Panthers looks dejected after an Eels try during the round five NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Penrith Panthers at Bankwest Stadium on June 12, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Connor Watson and Tyrone Peachey are undoubtedly talented players. Peachey has played Origin while Watson has long been seen as one of the game's elite utility stars.

Neither, however, really locked down a full-time spot in their respective sides and have moved on in order to fully realise their potential.

Who do you believe will have the better 2022 season; Connor Watson or Tyrone Peachey?

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Connor Watson

Connor Watson returns to the Roosters are a successful-ish stint in the Hunter with the Newcastle Knights.

His first season saw him originally named in the bench utility role, although he did play in the halves, in the centres, at hooker as dictated by injuries and form elsewhere.

2021 looked as though it would be a massive season for Watson as he was set to be named as the club's new starting lock. He would again come off the bench.

Watson had some brilliant games in the forwards and looked Newcastle's most reliable option but his utility value saw him moved around again.

His move back to Bondi should see him slot right back into his familiar number 14 jersey but I expect his actual role to be one far more consistent than in Newcastle.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 15: Connor Watson of the Newcastle Knights in action during round one NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at McDonald Jones Stadium on March 15, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Although Sam Verrills is a fantastic, young footballer, the club's signing Brandon Smith shows they're not completely sold on him.

Watson will likely fill in at hooker, I'd expect in a 50-50 fashion with Verrills in the early season.

The Roosters have a far better side and a more experienced NRL coach than their counterparts in Newcastle, which should see Watson presented with more opportunities to impress.

Tyrone Peachey

Peachey burst onto the scene with the greatest "no try" in history for the Sharks. His family history and ridiculous talents in the then NYC combined to crush Sharks fans when news broke the Peach would be headed to Penrith.

At Penrith, he quickly became one of the game's most exciting impact players and earned himself Origin selection.

The understandable urge to secure a regular run on spot facilitated his big-money move north of the Tweed and to the Titans.

At times Peachey was the Titans best. At other times he was a non-factor and you had to search the stat sheets to see if he even featured.

Shifted between a bench role, the second row, an occasional stint in the halves and even a successful period in the centres, Peachey never really became a fixture. This despite numerous highlights and performances that had you thinking that the penny had finally dropped.

I have no doubt in the world that Peachey has a massive career ahead of him. I wouldn't say this often but strangely enough I believe the Tigers are the right fit.

Peachey will likely be named as a bench utility early on but I expect him to quickly establish himself as a regular second-rower.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 17: Tyrone Peachey of the Titans looks dejected after the Raiders score a try during the round 1 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Canberra Raiders at Cbus Super Stadium on March 17, 2019 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

His skills, footwork and creative flair will add to a pretty average Tigers attack and he could provide an X Factor they simply haven't had for years.

Whether or not he can push for a run on gig depends entirely on Tyrone Peachey. He certainly has the talent and the opportunity is there.


I don't believe I'd be ruffling too many feathers by suggesting that the Roosters will enjoy better results in 2022 than the Tigers. This in itself should see Watson enjoy more team success.

I just can't shake the feeling that 2022 could be the year we finally see the best from Tyrone Peachey.

The shackles, and dare I say pressure, are off. Peachey will slot into a bench role in the second row. I don't expect to see him shuffled around as in previous years.

This alone should see Peachey finally find his place. Combined with a less structured game-plan, everything looks to be falling in line for the former Origin utility.

Watson will be on the team sheet for more wins but I just can't see where he fits in. Sure he may play 40 minutes in the nine and lay on some tries, but Peachey will become a focal point in Tiger Town.

Watson's signing feels like a luxury. Peachey feels like it's one to build around.

For that reason I expect we'll see a string of highlights in orange and black as Tyrone Peachey finally delivers on years and years of undoubted promise.