Six Championship signings to keep an eye on in 2018

Matty Fleming (London Broncos)

The young centre has made the move down from Super League after spells with St Helens and Leigh.

But their loss is London’s gain, with the 22-year-old an impressive coup for Danny Ward’s side.

He made 10 appearances for Leigh last season and never let the Centurions down. He isn’t the flashiest of players, but he’s dependable, and that isn’t a trait that should go unnoticed.

Hayden Hansen (Swinton Lions)

Most fans were doing a google search when Swinton announced the signing of the versatile playmaker from Redcliffe Dolphins.

The Australian has spent his entire career at the Australian club, but has now set his sights on cracking England. The early signings are positive.

Swinton fans got their first glimpse of Hansen against Salford last weekend, and he impressed with a try-scoring debut that even earned praise from Red Devils head coach Ian Watson.

Adept at playing halfback, hooker or loose-forward, Hansen looks set to be a fine acquisition.

Peter Mata’utia (Leigh Centurions)

Trying to pick out one Leigh signing is a near thankless task given that they have signed NINETEEN players in the off-season.

But the arrival of Peter Mata’utia is perhaps the most impressive.

He joins the club entering his peak at the age of 27 and off the back of a good individual year at Newcastle Knights, playing every single game last season.

St Helens’ interest in his services is a testament to the efforts Leigh went to ensure he became their player.

They’ll be hoping to reap the benefits during 2018.

Josh McCrone (Toronto Wolfpack)

McCrone joins Toronto from St George Illawarra Dragons, where he spent the year partnering Dally M halfback Gareth Widdop.

Now, he will bring those skills to the Wolfpack, and will actually captain the side too.

His craft and guile set him apart from Toronto’s other key players. The Wolfpack have an abundance of flamboyant, exciting players. McCrone will bring a more cunning dimension to their attack.

Dean Parata (Barrow Raiders)

The Raiders may have gone under the radar somewhat during the close season, but their signing of Italian international Dean Perata caught our eye.

The hooker is a superb signing for Paul Crarey’s side and will inject even more skill to what is a strong spine.

Partnering with halfback Louis Charnock and Jamie Dallimore, Barrow look capable of competing in the second-tier.

Martyn Ridyard (Featherstone Rovers)

Featherstone’s capture of the former Leigh halfback made everyone take notice.

Ridyard’s solitary year in Super League perhaps didn’t go to plan, but during his brief stint on loan at Huddersfield he thoroughly impressed, and proved he could hold his own at the top level.

That said, he’s back in the Championship now and has impressed during pre-season. Such are his talents, he could help propel Featherstone towards the top of the league.