Six Again: Mid-season signings in 2024

Ahead of any season, the bulk of a club’s recruitment is done before a ball has even been passed. But occasionally, through a variety of reasons, be it a change in personal circumstances, injuries or general lack of form and results, some clubs will dip into the transfer market in the opening weeks and months of a new campaign. 2024 has been no different, and here we look at six of the most talked about early season transfers so far this year.


With the season starting so poorly for Hull FC it was clear something needed to change. Out went Tony Smith and in came Richie Myler, but also heading for the exit door was Tex Hoy, the fullback who signed from Newcastle Knights ahead of the 2023 season. He left the club by mutual consent and just days later was unveiled as a Castleford Tigers player. Castleford’s season hadn’t started much better than Hull’s but it was hoped that the level of experience he adds to Craig Lingard’s squad will be enough to turn their fortunes around. And he certainly showed the potential to do just that with an impressive debut against London Broncos.


Eleven years on from last pulling on the black and white jersey, Tom Briscoe is back at Hull and looking to make an impact on their ailing season. The winger was a crowd favourite in his previous spell in West Hull, scoring 90 tries in 147 appearance between his 2008 debut and 2013, when he left for Leeds Rhinos. He has spent the last 18 months at Leigh Leopards, winning the Challenge Cup, but sat out of much of the early stages of this year with a calf injury. He made his second debut for Hull FC against Warrington just a fortnight after making his return as part of a swap deal which saw Darnell McIntosh heading in the opposite direction.


Brad Dwyer may have only just returned to Warrington for a second spell with the Wolves, but he has already headed for pastures new. Having spent 2023 with Hull FC following his departure from Leeds, the hooker opted to return to the club where he made his debut in 2012. But with Danny Walker handed the Wolves’ number 9 shirt, when the chance came to get some game time away from the club, Dwyer headed to Leigh Leopards on an initial two-week loan after Edwin Ipape sustained an injury. He made such an impact though that Leigh quickly moved to make the deal more permanent, handing Dwyer a a contract until the end of 2025.


Dan Okoro is clearly a highly regarded prop forward. Bradford thought that when they signed the Hull KR product midway through last season, and after just two Bulls appearances, Warrington Wolves paid an undisclosed fee to the Odsal outfit for his services. Signed until the end of 2027, the Wolves must believe the Nigerian international has a big future ahead of him. As part of the deal, Okoro and other Wolves players will be available to play for the Bulls if not selected by Sam Burgess. Okoro has already been back at Bradford as he recovers from a broken jaw, but don’t be surprised if he runs out in Super League before the year is out.


When your grandad is one of the greatest players to ever play the game, much is going to be expected of you wherever you end up playing. So when Zac Fulton, grandson of Australian Immortal Bob Fulton, signed for Bradford Bulls from Manly ahead of the league season, the Odsal crowd was excited to see what he could add to their squad. Having missed the 1895 Cup group games and the Challenge Cup games, Fulton arrived in West Yorkshire in time to make a try-scoring debut in the Good Friday derby victory over Halifax Panthers, before also putting in impressive performances in the wins over Featherstone and Toulouse in the following games.


When Mackenzie Yei was released by Featherstone Rovers in April during the latter stages of his recovery from a knee injury, the Papua New Guinea international looked set for a return home to the southern hemisphere. But a chance then came his way to be reunited with former coach Sean Long at League One promotion-chasers Oldham. The pair worked together at Featherstone and Long is sure that Yei’s big hitting, strong carries, impressive offloads and international experience will not only strengthen their chances of clinching the title, but also see him become an instant hit with the Boundary Park crowd.

First published in Rugby League World magazine, Issue 497 (June 2024)

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