Coach: Andrew Ryan
Last Premiership: 2018
Gains: Derek Hay (Monaro - Canberra).
Losses: Lachlan Walmsley (South Sydney - NSW Cup), Henry Penn (Norths Devils - Queensland Cup), Harry Van Dartel (Woden Valley - Canberra), Faitotoa Faitotoa (Queensland Cup - Redcliffe Dolphins), Tori Freeman (injured, ACL).
Past Five Seasons:
2018: 3rd, major premiers (9 wins, 7 losses)
2017: 5th (8-8)
2016: 2nd, major premiers (11-1-4)
2015: 6th (6-8)
2014: 2nd (11-5)
Q and A with coach Andrew Ryan:
Q: How have you enjoyed getting into a senior coaching role at club level post your days in the NRL?
A: "It's been good and an enjoyable pre-season. They're a good bunch and I'm just getting my head around everything. Round one has been a long-time coming so it will be good to get there and finally play. I'm very glad the opportunity came up."
Q: How do you approach season 2019, having joined a squad coming off a premiership and having that expectation there from opponents?
A: "Any team that wins a premiership, most opponents are traditionally up for those contests. It was a great year for them and a great finish in such a tight competition. That challenge of having to be on your game every week."
Q: You're down a few strike weapons in Lachlan Walmsley and Harry Van Dartel - how do the Lions make up for that?
A: We've lost some quality players but it gives other guys an opportunity, from the lower grades and 19s who have been around the club."
Souths stepped up when it mattered most last year to claim the club's second title in the space of three seasons.
The Lions will again be in the mix despite having lost attacking weapons Lachlan Walmsley and Harry Van Dartel as well as forwards Faitotoa Faitotoa and Tori Freeman.
The men from Townson have plenty of depth and players like Cameron King, Luke Higgins, Ryan Glanville, Jason Keelan and Jake Lawrence remain.
The return of skipper Brendan Simpson, who missed last year's grand final because of injury, also strengthens the squad.
Former NRL prop Andrew Ryan takes over the coaching reins from Ben Cross, who is now at the Brisbane Broncos assisting Anthony Seibold.
Round 1 v Central on April 14 (A)
Round 2 v Macquarie on April 28 (H)
Round 3 v Lakes on May 5 (H)
Round 4 v Wests on May 19 (H)
Round 5 v Maitland on May 25 (A)
Round 6 v Wests on June 2 (A)
Round 7 v Macquarie on June 8 (H)
Round 8 v Lakes on June 16 (A)
Round 9 v Central on June 23 (H)
Round 10 v Cessnock on July 6 (A)
Round 11 v Maitland on July 13 (H)
Round 12 v Wests on July 21 (A)
Round 13 v Kurri on July 27 (H)
Round 14 v Macquarie on August 4 (A)
Round 15 v Kurri on August 17 (A)
Round 16 v Cessnock on August 24 (H)
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