We expected Covid-19 to affect clubs and their recruitment but instead, a plethora of expert stars will make their debuts or returns in Super League. Here’s six of the high-profile names that are likely to change the dynamic of the competition over the course of the next few years.
Elijah Taylor (Wests Tigers to Salford Red Devils)
Revealed in League Express last week but confirmed more recently, Taylor has experienced everything in Australia’s top-flight but, after a complicated betrayal by his manager during his four-year spell at Wests Tigers, will arrive at Salford hoping for a fresh start in a new continent.
The 30-year-old is multifaceted, with the ability to play hooker, second-row or loose forward, and has adopted the Kiwi’s hard-hitting mentality, which has been regularly implemented over the past decade in his career.
Jai Field (Parramatta Eels to Wigan Warriors)
Field, one of eleven players offloaded by Parramatta at the end of the season, was only briefly considered a free agent on the market as Wigan briskly swooped on the Australian.
The 23-year-old will likely partner former Parramatta teammate Bevan French in the half-back position. Both are dangerous and deceitful on their own but if you put the two together, the outcome will be treacherous for the opposition.
At the moment, Wigan fans will be trying to comprehend this destructive and damaging partnership, but they’ll have to wait until March 11th to see it in its full glory.
Greg Inglis (Free Agent to Warrington Wolves)
We’ve all heard about ‘GI’ whose move to Warrington sent shockwaves throughout Rugby League media around the globe.
Aside from his 250 NRL appearances, Inglis has participated in 32 State of Origin fixtures for Queensland and has played 39 games for Australia Kangaroos.
Some of his honours include, but are not limited to, an appearance in Melbourne Storm’s Team of the Decade, three NRL premierships, ten Origin Series triumphs in eleven, a Clive Churchill and Wally Lewis medal, six Dally M recognitions and a Golden Boot award.
Super League silverware is one of the only things not accomplished by the protean player, and Grand Final success has not been achieved by Warrington in over half a century.
Can GI be the final piece in their seemingly unsolvable puzzle?
Joel Thompson (Manly Sea Eagles to St Helens)
It was revealed in a June edition of League Express but one of the NRL’s most popular and most consistent performers has already engaged in a post-Christmas training session at St Helens.
Thompson was Kristian Woolf’s first coup since being appointed as head coach last year and holds 235 appearances with three different NRL clubs; Canberra Raiders, St George Illawarra and Manly Sea Eagles.
He’ll fill the massive void left by Zeb Taia, one of the most prominent names within the club, but will undoubtedly add experience at second-row alongside James Bentley.
Josh Reynolds (Wests Tigers to Hull FC)
After a controversial and stressful 2019, Sydney-born Reynolds will move to West Hull with a blank canvas, leaving his girlfriend and relatives behind.
Now, following an early release from his Wests Tigers contract, 31-year-old Reynolds has been given a lifeline with Brett Hodgson’s outfit, signing a two-year deal with an option for a third earlier this month.
‘The Grub’ spent ten years in the NRL, seven with Canterbury Bulldogs and three at Wests Tigers, and racked up 160 appearances and 44 tries in the process.
Brad Takairangi (Parramatta Eels to Hull Kingston Rovers)
Tony Smith has already signed star-studded firepower in the form of Albert Vete, Ryan Hall and Korbin Sims, and now Brad Takairangi will join on a two-year deal.
Having played at half-back, centre and second-row throughout the course of his career, will undoubtedly add versatility and aid squad depth. That’s not all though, as the 31-year-old will bring over a combined 175 games of NRL experience with Sydney Roosters, Gold Coast Titans and Parramatta Eels to the table.
If you add in his Cook Islands and New Zealand caps, you can see why he’ll be an impactful player in Super League.