2022 was certainly a difficult one for Ryan Hampshire.
After being let go by Wakefield Trinity, Hampshire signed a deal with the Castleford Tigers early on in the 2022 season before suffering a broken hand.
The livewire would go on to make five appearances for the Tigers, but he suffered a devastating ACL injury, ruling Hampshire out for the rest of the season – and ultimately beyond his current deal at the Jungle.
Having said that, Hampshire’s utility value is high and Super League sides could certainly benefit from his signature, so could he sign for these three clubs?
It’s fair to say that Hampshire enjoyed himself in the short time he was at the Jungle in 2022, bringing another dimension to Lee Radford’s squad. Though injury cut that short, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the 27-year-old be given another shot at Castleford particularly as they aid him through his ACL injury. With Gareth Widdop, Jacob Miller and Callum McLelland in the halves and Niall Evalds at fullback, the Tigers perhaps do need cover and Hampshire would provide that in both the halves and as number one.
Hampshire left Wakefield at the end of 2021 because he and the club were unable to strike a deal over what both sides felt the 27-year-old was worth. Having said that, Trinity certainly missed Hampshire’s utility value in 2022 with an injury hitting fullback Max Jowitt. That forced Trinity to look into the loan market when they would have had a ready-made replacement waiting in the wings. And with Jamie Shaul going back to Hull FC, Wakefield are still without that depth for the number one shirt which would make Hampshire an ideal target.
Having already tasted experience of the Leigh club back in 2017 when they were then named Centurions, Hampshire would likely slot straight back into the environment. That being said, it is a completely different squad to the one that Hampshire was a part of five years ago with Zak Hardaker likely to take that fullback spot. However, having the 27-year-old as back-up would certainly be a good move for the Leopards with Hampshire also able to play in the halves. With Hampshire being English too that would help Leigh’s current quota situation.