THE 2023 Super League season isn’t too far ahead of us as the 12 top flight clubs prepare for the new year in the best way possible.
Since the end of the 2022 season and the Rugby League World Cup, head coaches have been assessing their leadership situations going into the new season.
Here is what we know so far.
Paul McShane will lead the Tigers once more in 2023 after his first stint as Castleford captain in 2022. The hooker took over from Michael Shenton following his retirement at the end of 2021.
Catalans will once more have French skipper Benjamin Garcia as their captain following an illustrious number of years leading the Dragons.
Luke Yates has been given the captain’s armband again by head coach Ian Watson – a decision that proved dividends in 2022. However, with Michael Lawrence’s departure, Leroy Cudjoe has been made club captain.
New head coach Tony Smith has yet to finalise his leadership group for his first season in charge of Hull FC. Luke Gale was the Black and Whites’ skipper in 2022, but his departure has left the important role to be filled. The likes of Ligi Sao, Brad Fash and Danny Houghton will likely be the names mentioned, but who knows if Smith has a surprise up his sleeve.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall remains as Hull KR captain with new head coach Willie Peters choosing to stick with the former New Zealand Test star. It is a decision that will prove popular with both the playing group and the fans with Kenny-Dowall excelling so much in 2022 that he made the Super League Dream Team.
Like Hull FC, Leeds’ captaincy question remains unanswered as things stand. Kruise Leeming took on the role for 2022 and helped guide the Rhinos to Old Trafford, but head coach Rohan Smith’s thinking may be elsewhere. The likes of Richie Myler, Blake Austin and Rhyse Martin are experienced enough.
Leigh’s captain for their first season back in Super League has yet to be announced, but Joe Mellor and Adam Sidlow shared the armband in 2022. With Sidlow departing for Salford, Mellor may well be given the sole captaincy, however, the Leopards have no shortage of leaders in their squad including Ricky Leutele, Jack Hughes and Gareth O’Brien.
Salford Red Devils
Another club that saw their captain depart at the end of the 2022 season, Salford’s Elijah Taylor is now a Featherstone player. Halfbacks Marc Sneyd and Brodie Croft showed their leadership during last season and Paul Rowley may head in this direction for 2023.
There can only be one man for this and that is James Roby. Like a fine wine, the Saints hooker gets better with age and he will lead Paul Wellens’ side in 2023. Roby could, realistically, go on until 40.
With the departure of Jacob Miller, Wakefield needed to make a captaincy decision going into 2023 and new head coach Mark Applegarth has appointed able candidate Matty Ashurst as Trinity’s skipper. One of Wakefield’s most consistent performers in recent seasons, Ashurst will definitely lead from the front.
Warrington head coach Daryl Powell faces a big decision on his captain for 2023 with former skipper Jack Hughes departing for Leigh. The likes of Stefan Ratchford and Ben Currie could be names mentioned whilst new signings Paul Vaughan and Josh McGuire have outstanding leadership qualities.
It was always going to be difficult to replace Tommy Leuluai has captain, but Wigan have arguably one of their greatest Super League players taking over that mantle in Liam Farrell. The flame-haired enforcer is one of the most consistent players in the top flight at present and can raise the standards of those around him.