SUPER League 2023 isn’t too far away with most clubs having completed their recruitment for next season and beyond.
Having said that, there is still the potential for a number of deals to be completed with a number of Super League sides still possessing empty quota spots.
Regardless of this, those players already at the 12 Super League clubs have either started pre-season or will be going to do so in the next few weeks.
But which of these could take Super League fans by surprise in 2023?
Liam Watts – Castleford Tigers
It’s fair to say that Liam Watts did not have the best of years in 2022. Having been on the receiving end of a mammoth five bans for actions during the season, Castleford Tigers head coach Lee Radford revealed the need for the ex-Hull FC prop to change. Watts himself found it difficult to adjust to the new crackdown on foul play by the RFL, but with a full pre-season to work on just that, we could see a totally different animal to the one which took to the field for the Tigers in 2022. Always one to push an offload, Watts will be Castleford’s go-to man for go-forward.
George Williams – Warrington Wolves
George Williams will be the first person to admit that he didn’t have the best of seasons at Warrington Wolves in 2022. Despite that, the halfback has excelled for England at the World Cup under Shaun Wane with Williams certainly going to benefit from such a brilliant experience. With Warrington boss Daryl Powell expected to build his team around the former Wigan man for 2023 with fellow experienced halfback Gareth Widdop leaving for Castleford, Williams will be the man of the moment for the Wolves – and watch him thrive with it.
Oliver Holmes – Leigh Leopards
Whilst at Castleford Oliver Holmes was one of the first men on the teamsheet under Daryl Powell, at Warrington, the flame-haired forward was very much on the periphery. The willingness of the Wolves to let Holmes go just one year into a three-year deal suggests that the move didn’t work out with the Leigh Leopards swooping for his signature. That being said, Holmes was revered at Castleford for a reason and it’s up to Adrian Lam to unlock that potential that was seen so often at the Jungle for the past decade.
Morgan Smith – Wakefield Trinity
Having spent most of his youth days in the Warrington Wolves’ academy, Morgan Smith found first-team opportunities limited. A move to London Broncos helped further his career whilst a deal at Featherstone Rovers certainly thrust the halfback into the limelight even further. Snapped up by Wakefield ahead of the 2023 Super League season, Smith has a lot of pressure on his shoulders effectively replacing Jacob Miller, but there is no denying his talent. Smith has always backed himself to make it in the top flight and now is his chance to shine.
Tom Holroyd – Leeds Rhinos
2022 went awry for Tom Holroyd. After suffering a shocking injury which saw the prop miss most of the season, a loan spell at the Bradford Bulls went as wrong as it possibly could have done. The Leeds man was on the receiving end of a ten-match ban following a brawl in a Championship fixture, but with a full pre-season under his belt heading into 2023, next season looks brighter for Holroyd. The form of the likes of Mikolaj Oledzki and Zane Tetevano in 2022 meant that the Rhinos did not miss the 21-year-old all that much, but Holroyd will be expected to step into the retiring Matt Prior’s shoes.