Dream Team XIII of new Super League signings with Leigh Leopards and Warrington Wolves dominating

WITH the majority of Super League clubs having completed their recruitment for the 2023 season, there have been a few notable signings along the way.

From moving from one Super League club to another, from the NRL or from the lower leagues, a plethora of players have gone in and out during this off-season.

Here is the Dream Team XIII of new Super League signings.

1. Zak Hardaker – Leigh Leopards

Will he play fullback or centre? Zak Hardaker’s best position is fullback so that is where Adrian Lam may play him, though the Yorkshireman did play centre under Lam at Wigan.

2. Derrell Olpherts – Leeds Rhinos

Derrell Olpherts divided opinion at Castleford, but his stats speak for themselves. One of the most destructive ball carriers in the game, especially coming out of defence, has impressed Rohan Smith enough to take a punt on him. Will always make easy yards.

3. Jake Wardle – Wigan Warriors

One of only two signings for Wigan going into 2023, Jake Wardle has a point to prove after exiting Huddersfield. Signing a three-year deal, the centre is still only 24 with Warriors boss Matt Peet knowing how just to handle the younger players from his time in the Wigan academy.

4. Ricky Leutele – Leigh Leopards

Bringing in one of the best Super League centres was a real coup for the Leopards as Ricky Leutele swaps the John Smith’s Stadium for the Leigh Sports Village. A real handful going forward and a tremendous defender, Leigh have certainly got a good one.

5. Tom Johnstone – Catalans Dragons

When he is fit, Tom Johnstone is arguably the most devastating winger in the competition. It’s just, trying to keep him on the field in recent years hasn’t been possible for Wakefield. A new lease of life at Catalans, however, could be just the tonic the flying winger needs.

6. Jake Connor – Huddersfield Giants

Though a dangerous fullback, Jake Connor looks like he will be playing in the halves for Huddersfield in 2023 with Tui Lolohea at number one. Top of the try-assist charts in 2022, the former Hull man can pull every trick out of the hat when needs must.

7. Jake Clifford – Hull FC

It was rather a surprise that the Newcastle Knights let Jake Clifford go given his talent at such a young age. The halfback is just 24, but has been tasked with leading Hull FC around the field – and he will do just that. Clifford will be a real crowd pleaser at the Black and Whites.

8. Paul Vaughan – Warrington Wolves

Arguably one of the NRL’s most consistent forwards in 2022, Paul Vaughan brings a wealth of experience to the Halliwell Jones Stadium for 2023. A real leader, workhorse and passionate player, Warrington have that essence they missed with the absence of Chris Hill in 2022.

9. Brad Dwyer – Hull FC

Much like Jake Clifford at Newcastle, it was a surprise that Leeds allowed Brad Dwyer to leave following an impressive year in 2022. However, Leeds’ loss is Hull’s gain and Dwyer will certainly be allowed to take advantage of quick rucks from the likes of Chris Satae and Ligi Sao.

10. Siosiua Taukeiaho – Catalans Dragons

Catalans have recruited heavily for 2023 so far with head coach Steve McNamara ringing the changes and one of the most impressive signings is Siosiua Taukeiaho from Sydney Roosters. Having been one of the NRL’s best props in the best decade, it is a major coup for the Dragons – he can also kick goals.

11. Sauaso Sue – Hull KR

An enforcer that can play anywhere in the pack except hooker, Sauaso Sue is a mountain of a forward that will take some stopping in 2023. At 30 years of age, the former Newcastle Knights man has almost 200 NRL appearances under his belt which is no mean feat.

12. Sam Stone – Salford Red Devils

It was a great pick up by Salford to lure Sam Stone from newly-promoted Leigh for 2023. The second-rower was a key part of the Leopards’ superb 2022 and Paul Rowley will be hoping for more of the same form next season.

13. Harry Rushton – Huddersfield Giants

Being able to lure young Harry Rushton over from Canberra was no mean feat for Ian Watson, but he is here and the former Wigan youngster is raring to go. The loose-forward has gained a reputation in recent years for being a no-nonsense enforcer and Giants fans will get to see that in all its glory in 2023.


14. Kevin Naiqama – Huddersfield Giants

Replacing the man at number 4 on this list – Ricky Leutele – Kevin Naiqama will bring all the Grand Final experience he gained whilst at St Helens, helping to drive the standards ever further at Huddersfield.

15. Tom Opacic – Hull KR

Tom Opacic made it all the way to the NRL Grand Final with Parramatta Eels in 2022 following a superb season the blue and gold. That makes this signing all the more impressive going into 2023.

16. Josh Drinkwater – Warrington Wolves

Daryl Powell needed to replace Gareth Widdop at halfback for Warrington and bringing in Josh Drinkwater is certainly a good way of doing that. The former Catalans man has been instrumental for the Dragons in recent seasons which makes the decision to let him go puzzling.

17. Sam Kasiano – Warrington Wolves

Another Warrington signing, another Dream Team inclusion this time in the shape of Sam Kasiano. The rampaging prop has been one of Catalans’ most potent strike weapons in recent seasons and will offer Warrington something different up front.