Five young Super League stars set to make 2023 their breakout year with Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Tigers and Wigan Warriors represented

SEEING a young starlet make their way through from the academy to the first-team is a sight to behold for all those involved at a club.

Monitoring the process right the way from scholarship level to first-team is a long-term project but the rewards are excellent.

Now, heading into the 2023 Super League season, which five young players could make next year their breakout one?

Levi Edwards – Leeds Rhinos

Born on Christmas Day in 2003, Levi Edwards will be hoping for the present of first-team Super League action in 2023 after waiting patiently in the wings. The teenager spent 2022 on loan at York where he impressed greatly with his enthusiasm. The former Siddal junior also spent part of 2021 at the Batley Bulldogs, but it’s Leeds where he is set to make an impact next season. Equally adept at both centre and second-row, Edwards could yet make the number 4 spot his own given the departure of Liam Sutcliffe and Zak Hardaker.

Logan Astley – Wigan Warriors

Just 19, Logan Astley is tipped to follow in the footsteps of Harry Smith at becoming one of the Wigan Warriors’ main strike players going forward. Debuting under Matt Peet in 202 against the Huddersfield Giants, halfback Astley slotted in seamlessly, displaying his electric speed and intelligence in a close-fought defeat. Whilst Cade Cust and Smith made a real partnership in 2022, the retirement of Tommy Leuluai leaves Astley as back-up, and, the Merseysider will take his chance with both hands if Peet gives him the nod.

Hugo Salabio – Catalans Dragons

The Dragons have a spot open for new prop forward in their side following the exits of Gil Dudson and Sam Kasiano. Whilst Steve McNamara has brought in Siosiua Taukeiaho from the Sydney Roosters, who’s to say that the boss will not bring in one of his reserve players? Hugo Salabio is 22 and made his debut for Catalans last season against the Wigan Warriors, but he is a man mountain. McNamara has already outlined his intention to bring in five or six reserve players into his first-team squad and rampaging forward Salabio is expected to be one of them.

Cain Robb – Castleford Tigers

Despite excelling when given a chance by Castleford boss Lee Radford, Cain Robb has only managed five appearances in two years for the West Yorkshire side. The 19-year-old does, however, have a burgeoning reputation that will see him become understudy to first-choice hooker Paul McShane in 2023. In doing so, Robb is likely to get more game time and demonstrate his raw talent. Quick-witted, intelligent and extremely durable for his size, the teenager is set for a big future at the Tigers.

George Delaney – St Helens

Aged just 18, George Delaney is a physical beast and has all the characteristics to make it far in rugby league and in particular with St Helens. The prop has made two appearances for the Merseyside club since debuting back in 2022 and certainly did not look out of place in the first-team. Explosive, hard to handle and much in the mould of Saints forward Alex Walmsley, Delaney could well kick things off magnificently in 2023 as new head coach Paul Wellens gets to grips with his new squad.