FORMER St Helens star Regan Grace is currently doing rehab with Bath Rugby Union after his exit from Racing 92 without playing a game for the French rugby union side.
His exit from St Helens at the end of the 2022 Super League season took Grace away from the 13-man code, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the flying winger return to league sooner rather than later.
If he does return to rugby league, where could he possibly hang his hat?
The most obvious choice for Grace would be to rejoin the club where he made his name: St Helens. The winger scored 88 tries in 141 appearances for the Merseyside club between 2016 and 2022 and he would no doubt add to that incredible record if he returned tom the Totally Wicked Stadium. Just 26, Grace would no doubt have an illustrious career with Saints just as he did when he played at the club before. Saints do have Tommy Makinson, Jon Bennison and Tee Ritson but Grace would add a different dimension to their backline.
Hull FC have been known to splash the cash in recent years so the financial implications of a deal for Grace wouldn’t hit the club too hard. The club currently has Liam Tindall, Darnell McIntosh, Harvey Barrown and Lewis Martin, but the Welshman would be a massive recruit for Tony Smith’s side. With Smith going for size in the pack to lay the platform for the backs, Grace would likely have a field day out wide for the Black and Whites.
Salford Red Devils
Salford Red Devils desperately need bodies for the 2024 Super League season – and Grace could certainly plug the gap left by Ken Sio, who left the club after five years earlier in the month. It would remain to be seen if the Red Devils have the finances to bring in the 26-year-old after being placed in special measures, but such a recruit could inspire a Salford fanbase that has had its fair share of suffering in recent years off the field.
Leigh Leopards’ Super League season seemed to run out of steam towards the back end of the 2023 season and that was largely down to the lack of depth at head coach Adrian Lam’s disposal. As an aside from that, Leigh’s wingers last season were Tom Briscoe and Josh Charnley – both of whom are still performing to a high standard but both of whom are now in their 30s. Bringing in Grace to freshen up the backline and create competition for places could drive the Leopards to greater success in the near future.
Recently, Hull KR head coach Willie Peters spoke to Rugby League Live to discuss how cross-code players could be an option moving forward. The club would benefit from the new player pool dispensation, which means their salary cap value is £0 in their first season, and 50 per cent of their value in the second year. Of course, Grace wouldn’t qualify for that dispensation given he made his name in rugby league, but the 26-year-old would definitely bolster an already star-studded backline.
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