Super League’s new arrivals from the NRL for 2023 season profiled

Every year, a crop of signings from the NRL make their way over to Super League in a bid for glory in the northern hemisphere.

This year, the contingent includes returning talents and experienced pros; young guns and World Cup winners.

Here we give you the lowdown on all the 2023 arrivals.

RENOUF ATONI – Wakefield Trinity

Date of birth: 25 June 1995

Place of birth: Porirua, Wellington, New Zealand

NRL club record: Canterbury Bulldogs 2018-2021 (43 appearances, 3 tries, 12 points), Sydney Roosters 2021-2022 (0 appearances)

Though Renouf Atoni has signed for Wakefield from the Sydney Roosters, the blockbusting Kiwi failed to make an appearance in the first team in 2022.

Despite that, Atoni was a big presence at his old club Canterbury Bulldogs, earning a reputation for himself as one of the most destructive forwards in the pack.

The 27-year-old is expected to be a key figure for Trinity in 2023 following the departure of club stalwarts David Fifita and Tinirau Arona, and Atoni has already put in some big pre-season performances against Leeds and Halifax.

Though unable to nail down a starting place at Canterbury or Sydney, the New Zealander will be one of the first men on the teamsheet for new head coach Mark Applegarth so get ready to see the cannonball in action on a regular basis.

Atoni also boasts some fast hands which make a mockery of his size.


Date of birth: N/A

Place of birth: Dewsbury, Yorkshire, UK

NRL club record: South Sydney Rabbitohs 2022 (0 appearances)

Despite being just 19 years of age, Wesley Bruines has already experienced both sides of the world.

Having missed out on a scholarship when he was a young teenager at Shaw Cross Sharks, Bruines attracted the attention of current Wakefield Trinity boss Mark Applegarth after starring for Yorkshire Under-17s, England Community Lions and his college side.

Following a two-year spell at Belle Vue, the outside back rejected a Reserves deal as he left the UK for Australia and the Coffs Harbour Comets, where he was subsequently snapped up by the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Bruines made nine appearances for the Rabbitohs’ Under-20s last season before signing a one-year deal with Saints.

As one of only two signings made by new head coach Paul Wellens ahead of the 2023 season, all eyes will be firmly focused on the 19-year-old.

Highly skilful and motivated, with the ability to find a magical play out of nothing, Bruines is certainly in the right environment to launch his Super League career.


Date of birth: 2 January 1998

Place of birth: Cairns, Queensland, Australia

NRL club record: North Queensland Cowboys 2018-2021 (42 appearances, 7 tries, 19 goals, 1 field goal, 67 points), Newcastle Knights 2021-2022 (25 appearances, 4 tries, 52 goals, 120 points)

Bringing in Jake Clifford from the NRL is quite the coup for Hull FC considering he was once North Queensland Cowboys’ Rookie of the Year. 

After departing the Cowboys ahead of the 2021 NRL season for the Newcastle Knights, Clifford’s stock rose further until the halfback was left on the periphery during last season.

That prompted the Black and Whites to swoop with Clifford the only recruit made by new head coach Tony Smith after taking charge.

Hoping to strike up a potent partnership with Jake Trueman once the latter has recovered from his ACL injury, Clifford has both the astute kicking game and the ability to fire a pinpoint pass that will make him extremely dangerous in Super League.

At just 25, Hull have arguably signed the former Newcastle man at the best time possible with the Australian lifting spirits in West Hull after a disappointing 2022.


Date of birth: 4 November 1999

Place of birth: Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

NRL club record: Newcastle Knights 2020-2022 (30 appearances, 5 tries, 15 goals, 50 points)

They weren’t advertised as a pair but Hull FC have got their hands on two gems from the Newcastle Knights in the shape of Jake Clifford and Tex Hoy.

Both good teammates and friends from their time at the Hunter club, Hoy will likely be Tony Smith’s first-choice fullback going into the new season.

With the ability to play in the halves or at number one, Hoy does offer variety with his youthful exuberance still shining through at the age of 23.

The former Knights star hasn’t known anything else but Newcastle since growing up, so heading to West Hull was Hoy’s way of getting out of his comfort zone. It will be interesting to see if he fits in seamlessly into the Hull culture.

Expect to see some off-the-cuff brilliance and an air of confidence that belies his youthful age.

ADAM KEIGHRAN – Catalans Dragons

Date of birth: 24 April 1997

Place of birth: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

NRL club record: New Zealand Warriors 2019-2020 (9 appearances, 4 tries, 9 goals, 34 points), Sydney Roosters 2021-2022 (19 appearances, 4 tries, 40 goals, 96 points)

Perhaps one Super League signing which has come out of left field is that of Adam Keighran to Catalans Dragons.

Prior to the end of the 2022 Super League season, it didn’t appear as though the French side needed another centre considering the impact of Samisoni Langi and Dean Whare.

However, both men have since left the Stade Gilbert Brutus with head coach Steve McNamara hunting new blood.

That led McNamara into the NRL market and straight to Sydney Roosters, where Keighran has been in and out of the side since joining the Chooks back in 2021.

The 25-year-old, who began his career with the New Zealand Warriors, has a wicked left boot on him and can play in the centres, at halfback and even at hooker.

After being a bit-part player at his two previous NRL clubs, Keighran will be looking to nail down a permanent spot in the Catalans side.


Date of birth: 11 October 1994

Place of birth: Moruya, New South Wales, Australia

NRL club record: South Sydney Rabbitohs 2019 (2 appearances), Brisbane Broncos 2019-2022 (47 appearances, 3 tries, 12 points)

Talk about adding size and power to a Super League pack. Hull KR have captured Brisbane Broncos forward Rhys Kennedy, a prop that stands at six foot six and weighs over 17 stone.

But there is more than just size with Kennedy; his ability to offload out of the tackle and take three men with him will be a major boost to the Robins in 2023.

Under former head coach Tony Smith, KR were renowned for their expansive play and success at second-phase rugby so it will be interesting to see if new boss Willie Peters continues in the same vein.

If he does, watch Kennedy thrive in his new environment.

With almost 50 NRL games under his belt, the 28-year-old forward has some good experience under his belt, but it’s even more impressive considering Kennedy only debuted in 2019 aged 24.

KR have lost Albert Vete and Korbin Sims, but Kennedy will make his own name at Craven Park.

SAM LISONE – Leeds Rhinos

Date of birth: 19 February 1994

Place of birth: Auckland, New Zealand

NRL club record: New Zealand Warriors 2015-2019 (85 appearances, 3 tries, 12 points), Gold Coast Titans 2020-2022 (48 appearances, 2 tries, 8 points)

With the retirement of Matt Prior, Leeds had been hunting for an experienced and rugged prop.

They have certainly found that with Gold Coast Titans forward Sam Lisone, who had become an important player for the expansion club in the three years he was there.

Aged 28, Lisone also has time on his side to make a lasting impression at Headingley and with the injury to powerhouse prop Mikolaj Oledzki, the New Zealander is likely to be given a starting berth by head coach Rohan Smith.

For such a big man, Lisone has superb hands and is the archetypal modern front-rower with brains as well as brawn.

Mean with an offload too, the wrecking ball will get Leeds fans off their seats with his infectious attitude and bring even more size to the Rhinos’ impressive pack.

Watch out for Lisone’s hits in defence too – at 110kg he’s not afraid to mix it!

ESAN MARSTERS – Huddersfield Giants

Date of birth: 17 August 1996

Place of birth: Auckland, New Zealand

NRL club record: Wests Tigers 2017-2019 (61 appearances, 17 tries, 96 goals, 260 points), North Queensland Cowboys 2020-2021 (15 appearances, 2 tries, 8 points), Gold Coast Titans 2021-2022 (9 appearances, 3 tries, 12 points)

Huddersfield Giants completed their overseas transfer business relatively quickly, snapping up centre Esan Marsters back in September.

With Ricky Leutele departing for Leigh and Jake Wardle and Toby King heading to Wigan, head coach Ian Watson needed to rebuild his backline for the 2023 season.

The 26-year-old Marsters will prove to be a key figure in the Giants’ outside back contingent with his devastating running game and big hits in defence enamouring him to sets of fans around the NRL.

With the ability to play in the halves, Huddersfield have another potential option for a playmaker, but with Marsters playing the majority of his 85 NRL games at centre, Watson will be wanting to see the Cook Islands international make the right centre spot his own.

Marsters is also pinpoint in front of goal which again will increase the depth and choice in the Huddersfield squad.

Watch out for the Marsters-Jermaine McGillvary partnership in 2023.

JOSH McGUIRE – Warrington Wolves

Date of birth: 2 March 1990

Place of birth: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

NRL club record: Brisbane Broncos 2009-2018 (194 appearances, 11 tries, 44 points), North Queensland Cowboys 2019-2021 (38 appearances), St George Illawarra Dragons 2021-2022 (27 appearances, 2 tries, 8 points)

It’s fair to say that Warrington Wolves needed some more firepower going into the 2023 Super League season – and that’s exactly what they have brought in with Josh McGuire.

With over 250 NRL appearances to his name, McGuire brings experience, expertise, communication and leadership to Daryl Powell’s side that was badly lacking last season.

At 32, the former Brisbane and St George Illawarra forward might be in twilight of his career, but the sun has definitely not set on McGuire’s time in the game and Warrington fans will be able to see that once the season gets going.

Eight times capped by Australia and with 14 Queensland appearances to his name, the Wolves have done a marvellous piece of business to get McGuire to Super League before it is too late.

Likely to play as loose-forward, McGuire will be that link between the backs and the forwards with Powell set to place great responsibility on the 32-year-old’s shoulders.

KEVIN NAIQAMA – Huddersfield Giants

Date of birth: 4 February 1989

Place of birth: Sutherland, New South Wales, Australia

NRL club record: Newcastle Knights 2010-2013 (15 appearances, 9 tries, 36 points), Penrith Panthers 2014 (8 appearances, 7 tries, 28 points), Wests Tigers 2015-2018 (90 appearances, 35 tries, 140 points), Sydney Roosters 2022 (7 appearances, 2 tries, 8 points)

Super League fans will be welcoming former St Helens hero Kevin Naiqama back to the competition after a move to the Huddersfield Giants was completed last summer.

A three-time Grand Final winner in his time in the UK with Saints, Naiqama is expected to add that experience and trophy-winning nous to Ian Watson’s side that was perhaps slightly lacking in 2022.

Though Naiqama is 33, the Fijian international is one of the fittest to play Rugby League and he will certainly bring leadership qualities to the Huddersfield backline.

Expected to slot in at left centre following Toby King and Jake Wardle’s departure to Wigan, Naiqama may be the difference between Huddersfield winning a trophy and missing out so cruelly as they did last season.

The centre played 76 times for Saints in his three-year stint in the UK and will be well on track to passing the 100-appearance mark.


Date of birth: 7 September 1994

Place of birth: Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia

NRL club record: Brisbane Broncos 2016-2018 (19 appearances, 5 tries, 20 points), North Queensland Cowboy 2019-2020 (24 appearances, 9 tries, 36 points), Parramatta Eels 2021-2022 (40 appearances, 14 tries, 56 points)

The ability to lure across an NRL Grand Finalist should not be underestimated, but Hull KR have done just that with the capture of Parramatta Eels centre Tom Opacic.

The 28-year-old was part of the Parramatta side beaten by Penrith Panthers in last year’s showpiece final, but will now be aiming big at Craven Park.

With the departure of Ben Crooks and Brad Takairangi, Rovers were in need of some outside back firepower and Opacic will provide that in abundance.

A competitor with almost 100 NRL appearances under his belt, Opacic is a dynamic and solid centre that is first-rate at feeding his winger on the way to the tryline.

Add into the mix that he has been in the Parramatta environment for two seasons, making 40 appearances, and Opacic has certainly carved out a good reputation for himself Down Under.

Now it’s his task to do just the same in East Hull.

KEVIN PROCTOR – Wakefield Trinity

Date of birth: 28 February 1989

Place of birth: Te Kuiti, Waikato, New Zealand

NRL Club Record: Melbourne Storm 2008-2016 (179 appearances, 28 tries, 112 points), Gold Coast Titans 2017-2022 (103 appearances, 18 tries, 1 goal, 74 points)

It isn’t often that someone of Kevin Proctor’s stature comes on the market, but following his sacking by Gold Coast Titans back in the summer, Wakefield Trinity swooped to bring the New Zealander to West Yorkshire.

At the age of 33, Proctor is heading towards the back end of his career, but the decision to join Wakefield on a one-year deal makes sense for all parties.

It was obvious from his first friendly outing against Halifax that Proctor is certainly not in the UK for a holiday and the Kiwi will be vital for Mark Applegarth’s side in beating the drop in 2023, not least because of the departure of the likes of David Fifita, Tinirau Arona and Jacob Miller.

All were big leaders at Belle Vue but Proctor’s experience will be second to none.

HARRY RUSHTON – Huddersfield Giants

Date of birth: 13 November 2001

Place of birth: Blackpool, Lancashire, UK

NRL club record: Canberra Raiders 2021-2022 (3 appearances)

This was certainly a signing that came out of the blue with Huddersfield bringing Harry Rushton back to the UK and Super League after two years in the Australian capital.

Having started out his career with Wigan, Rushton made the brave decision to up sticks and move to Canberra Raiders ahead of the 2021 season.

At six foot three and almost 100kg, there is still plenty of growth left in 21-year-old Rushton and Huddersfield are set to reap the benefits with a three-year deal.

Known for his ball-playing ability despite being a huge individual, the Ireland international will offer another attacking outlet at loose-forward that will benefit the link up play between the backs and the forwards.

Head coach Ian Watson is known for his superb man-management skills so watch Rushton thrive in the Huddersfield arena.


Date of birth: 20 April 1992

Place of birth: Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand

NRL club record: Wests Tigers 2013-2018 (116 appearances, 10 tries, 40 points), Canterbury Bulldogs 2019-2020 (26 appearances, 1 try, 4 points), Newcastle Knights 2021-2022 (30 appearances, 2 tries, 8 points)

Willie Peters has definitely gone for size in his overseas signings with Rhys Kennedy and now Sauaso ‘Jesse’ Sue joining the pack for 2023.

Though Sue is smaller in height than Kennedy, there is no difference in heart with the former Newcastle Knights man backed to unleash his infectious energy on Craven Park and become a crowd favourite with the vociferous Robins fans.

Sue made his name with Wests Tigers, registering over 100 appearances as he became known for his bulldozing style of running and big hits in defence. 

Still only 30, Sue has a number of years left in the game and Rovers will be hoping that a move to Super League will give him a new lease of life like it did Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Kane Linnett.

A real crowd-pleaser, Sue is more than an adequate replacement for the retiring Korbin Sims and will prove his worth to Peters and KR in 2023.

SIOSIUA TAUKEIAHO – Catalans Dragons

Date of birth: 3 January 1992

Place of birth: Auckland, New Zealand

NRL club record: New Zealand Warriors 2013 (1 appearance), Sydney Roosters 2014-2022 (168 appearances, 13 tries, 63 goals, 178 points)

Catalans Dragons have been one of the most active Super League clubs in the transfer market this off-season and they raided Sydney Roosters again with the capture of Siosiua Taukeiaho.

Having established himself as one of the leading front-rowers in the NRL, it is quite a coup for the Dragons, especially with Taukeiaho winning two NRL Grand Finals and registering 168 appearances for the Roosters during an eight-season spell.

Known for his physicality and aggression, the 31-year-old will be tasked with being the cornerstone of the Catalans pack following the exit of Gil Dudson and Sam Kasiano and it’s fair to say that the Tongan international is ready for the task.

With 15 Tonga caps to his name and the ability to kick goals from all over the field, Taukeiaho certainly adds a different dimension to the Catalans squad that was perhaps missing last season.

He might be 31 but he is showing no signs of slowing down.

PAUL VAUGHAN – Warrington Wolves

Date of birth: 23 April 1991

Place of birth: Canberra, ACT, Australia

NRL club record: Canberra Raiders 2013-2016 (85 appearances, 16 tries, 64 points), St George Illawarra Dragons (96 appearances, 13 tries, 52 points), Canterbury Bulldogs 2022 (24 appearances, 1 try, 4 points)

Warrington and Daryl Powell have gone big and bold ahead of the 2023 season after a lacklustre 2022.

The lack of size and power up front didn’t help the Wolves’ cause last season, so Powell has gone all out to ensure a different kind of Warrington pack will take to the field this year.

One of the new recruits set to transform the Wolves is Paul Vaughan, whose consistent statistics at Canterbury Bulldogs last season were impressive to say the least.

Vaughan’s running metres were consistently over 100 metres, whilst post-contact metres were in the top ten of all NRL forwards.

Not only that, but the packman’s leadership and experience can help blood the Warrington youngsters through the ranks, and, at 31, Vaughan should still have a number of years left in him yet.

Capped by both Australia and Italy, Vaughan’s signing is one that sends a message out to Warrington’s Super League rivals.