It’s been another busy few days for Super League, with it emerging that central contracts have taken another step closer to becoming a reality.
St Helens confirmed on Monday when they announced Jonny Lomax’s new deal that he would be one of the players to be centrally contracted – but of the other 11 sides, which of their squad is the leading contender to join Lomax?
Criteria – what we know so far
- The players have to be English as part of the new rules to try and retain the best talent
- They will likely be players desirable or attractive to other codes and other sports
Castleford – Mike McMeeken
We already know that McMeeken is Castleford’s contender to earn a central contract following reports revealing the names of some players who were in contention this week. And despite there being plenty of contenders at the Tigers, McMeeken, as a southern-born talent, is an ideal candidate for the RFL to opt for to try and showcase the geographical spread of the game.
Catalans – Richie Myler
Even though Richie Myler is heading home at the end of this season, he is still the ideal English player from Catalans to be centrally contracted. Myler’s profile is significant – and his ability is undoubted after an impressive career in the game to date thus far.
Huddersfield – Jermaine McGillvary
A no-brainer; an England regular and a local boy done good, Huddersfield winger Jermaine McGillvary stands out as the Giants’ leading candidate if they were to receive a central contract for one of their players from the RFL.
Hull FC – Scott Taylor
There are plenty of contenders to pick from at Hull – including the likes of Jamie Shaul and Danny Houghton. But Scott Taylor is consistently in the England fold and as a former Super League winner with Wigan, is certainly a big enough name to fall into the central contract bracket.
Leeds – Kallum Watkins
National newspaper reports this week already confirmed that Watkins was in talks to become Leeds’ centrally contracted player.
Leigh – Ben Crooks
It’s been a season of struggle for Leigh – but Ben Crooks certainly stands out as the Centurions’ leading choice to be centrally contracted.
Salford – Gareth O’Brien
Who else would be the leading contender to be a centrally contracted player from Salford except their Million Pound Game hero, Gareth O’Brien?
Wakefield – Tom Johnstone
He’s surely set to become an England international in the coming years – and while he’s injured at the minute, Tom Johnstone is a smart choice should the RFL look at potential Wakefield players who could join the centrally contracted pool of stars.
Warrington – Stefan Ratchford
Like other Super League clubs, Warrington have plenty of candidates to choose from. But Stefan Ratchford, as a current England international, is the ideal choice for the Wolves’ centrally contracted candidate.
Widnes – Matt Whitley
Matt Whitley is one of the best young back-rowers in the country: and if the Vikings do get a centrally contracted player, he is the standout candidate.
Wigan – George Williams
We already know that Williams is in talks to become a centrally contracted player.