Five Super League breakout stars predicted for 2023 including Wigan Warriors, Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers men

BEING considered something of a breakout star often takes a lot of doing.

After not really making too many appearances in the first-team, a breakout star is considered one that comes through a squad to be an important team member when perhaps his name was not very well known.

So, who could be the five Super League breakout stars for 2023?

Max Simpson – Leeds Rhinos

Simpson joined the Leeds Scholarship in 2019 from Kippax, where he won the Leeds Cup in 2015 and Castleford Cup in 2017, 2018, 2019 and has since gone on to make four appearances for the Rhinos. All of those came in 2022, with his debut against Castleford in April a huge milestone for the teenager. Now, however, it is on Simpson’s shoulders to progress through to the first-team and etch his name in the centre positions – something which has become increasingly possible due to the exits of Zak Hardaker and Liam Sutcliffe.

Logan Astley – Wigan Warriors

Big things are expected of teenager Logan Astley at Wigan, with his debut against Huddersfield Giants back in May of this year showing that he could mix it against fully-grown men. Just 19, halfback Astley may well get his chance in 2023 given the retirement of veteran Tommy Leuluai, though he will need to displace the in-form Harry Smith and Cade Cust, with the latter’s absence glaringly obvious towards the end of the season. Watch out for Astley’s speed as well as toughness in defence which belies his slight build.

Cain Robb – Castleford Tigers

When given a chance in 2022 by Castleford head coach Lee Radford, Cain Robb excelled in the hooker position. In two years, the 19-year-old has made five appearances, but it’s likely that 2023 will be his year. Given the fact that main number nine Paul McShane is heading into the twilight of his career, it is time to blood a new hooker into that role and Robb has all the ability to make it big in the game. A mature head on young shoulders, a rugby league brain and the capacity to create havoc out of dummy-half, 2023 looks very promising for Robb.

George Delaney – St Helens

Remember the name George Delaney. At the age of just 18, one would have forgiven Delaney to not yet be physically ready for the rigours of first-team rugby league. However, the St Helens forward is clearly ahead of his years with his physicality and toughness belying his youthful age. Delaney has made two appearances for Saints so far since debuting earlier in 2022, but new head coach Paul Wellens could well look to the teenager to bring some impact off the bench in 2023 with his metre-eating runs and big hits already creating a reputation.

Leon Hayes – Warrington Wolves

Warrington’s halfback problems in 2022 were well documented with Gareth Widdop suffering from a dislocated shoulder for the latter half of the season and partner George Williams struggling for form. However, new head coach Daryl Powell tried out a number of combinations in the halves throughout the year, with youngster Leon Hayes grabbing an opportunity with both hands. The wily playmaker already looks more than capable of running a top flight game with head of youth Gary Chambers praising the teenager for his cheekiness and ability to control proceedings. He is definitely one to watch in 2023.