YESTERDAY, Featherstone Rovers announced the departure of star centre Chris Hankinson after just a year at the club.
The 30-year-old had played a key role in the first half of the 2023 Championship season for Rovers, but suffered a horror back injury that ruled him out towards the back end of the year.
However, Hankinson will no longer be a Featherstone player, but where might he end up?
Leigh owner Derek Beaumont spoke about the Leopards making another signing following the capture of Matt Moylan and Hankinson fits the bill of the outside back depth that Adrian Lam’s side missed towards the back end of the 2023 season. Hankinson would provide greater depth behind Zak Hardaker and Ricky Leutele in the centres and would be a more than adequate replacement to step in.
Salford Red Devils
Salford are apparently leading the chase for Hankinson, per Rugby League Live. Such a move would make sense with the Red Devils facing financial issues and the 30-year-old providing competition for places out wide. The loss of Ken Sio has hit Salford hard and Hankinson would slot into that gap. Plus, he is a Paul Rowley type player with a bit of x-factor and pizzazz that would get bums on seats at the Salford Stadium.
Hankinson has been there once before, registering 25 appearances for Toulouse in their one and only season in Super League in 2022. The centre loved his time in France so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him go back to Sylvain Houles, especially with the French club pressing for new recruits under their new ownership. It may also be a case of unfinished business following the dreadful maiden year in the top flight.
The Tigers won’t be spending the salary cap in the 2023 Super League season so bringing in Hankinson would definitely provide competition for places out wide – and it would give head coach Craig Lingard another potential option for a goal-kicker following the departure of Gareth Widdop. Hankinson would also be an experienced head in what is a younger squad, especially in the outside back positions.
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