Experts Andrew Johns, Brad Fittler and Nine choose their winners


Brad Fittler has expressed his shock at the Raiders’ decision to leave Xavier Savage out of their first-round squad to face the Sharks despite attending pre-season trials.

Speedster Savage, who is just 19, made his NRL debut last season, impressing in all three games he played in the top flight.

He was one of the pre-season leaders for Ricky Stuart’s men, creating a selection headache as he vied for the No.1 shirt with much-loved Kiwi Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.

Unsurprisingly, Stuart stuck to the experience, choosing Nicoll-Klokstad at the back, while Nick Cotric and Semi Valemei nodded on the wings.

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In fact, Savage was left out of the 22-man squad entirely when she was named ahead of tomorrow night’s clash with the Sharks on Tuesday, leaving NSW manager Fittler scratching his head.

Scroll below for first-round tips from Johns, Fittler and all Nine’s expert NRL tipsters!

“Can you believe Xavier Savage is not playing? Fittler asked Andrew Johns on Wide World of Sports’ Advice from Freddy and Joey.

“He looked good in the trials, didn’t he,” Johns replied.

“He was their best,” added a puzzled Fittler. “He was by far their best.”

Although he questioned Savage’s non-selection, Fittler still advised the Raiders to defeat the Sharks in a game that divided the two legends.

Johns saw enough in the Sharks’ try form to give them the pitch, saying they looked “gritty” and showed “great offense” against the Bulldogs.

Who will rise in power in 2022? : Freddy & The Eighth – Round 1

Andrew John: Sea Eagles, Sharks, Rabbitohs, Knights, Warriors, Storm, Eels, Cowboys

Brad Fitter: Sea eagles, sharks, rabbits, roosters, dragons, storm, eels, cowboys

Johnathan Thurston: Sea eagles, sharks, rabbits, roosters, dragons, storm, eels, cowboys

Wally Lewis: Sea eagles, sharks, rabbits, roosters, dragons, storm, eels, cowboys

Allana Ferguson: Panthers, sharks, bunnies, roosters, dragons, storm, eels, bulldogs

Darren Locker: Sea Eagles, Raiders, Broncos, Roosters, Dragons, Storm, Eels, Cowboys

Billy Slater: Sea eagles, sharks, broncos, roosters, dragons, storm, eels, cowboys

David Middleton: Panthers, sharks, rabbits, roosters, warriors, storm, eels, cowboys

Matt Thompson: Panthers, Sharks, Rabbitohs, Roosters, Dragons, Storm, Eels, Cowboys

Pierre Psaltis: Panthers, Sharks, Broncos, Roosters, Dragons, Storm, Eels, Cowboys

Danika Mason: Sea eagles, sharks, rabbits, roosters, dragons, storm, eels, bulldogs

Michael Chammas: Panthers, sharks, bunnies, roosters, dragons, storm, eels, bulldogs

Ben Glover: Sea Eagles, Raiders, Rabbitohs, Roosters, Warriors, Storm, Eels, Cowboys

The mole: Sea eagles, sharks, rabbits, roosters, dragons, storm, eels, cowboys

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