As we continue our look at the season so far, we shift our focus to some of the best signings of the season in the Championship.
With the help of coaches and journalists across the league, we have put together a top ten, starting with…
10. Josh Hardcastle (Featherstone Rovers)
When the outside back joined the club, Fev fans who did a google search probably found nothing about their new recruit.
Joining from amateur neighbours Featherstone Lions, Hardcastle was a complete unknown.
However, his maiden year has been nothing short of remarkable. He’s scored 15 tries in 19 games for the Rovers, playing a huge role in their success.
9. Stan Robin (Toulouse Olympique)
Robin joined the club from Catalans and instantly formed an outstanding partnership with Johnathon Ford in the halves.
When his partner was struck down with injury, Robin was put in charge of the team and had an influential role in several victories, most notably their Summer Bash win over Halifax.
His game has developed during the year and he has the talent to really kick on.
8. Nick Scruton (Hull Kingston Rovers)
Scruton was originally signed by the Robins while they were a Super League club. Nevertheless, he remained loyal to his agreement following relegation and has been a driving force in their regular season success.
Scoring five tries in 21 appearances, Scruton has provided real go-forward in attack and helped the Robins do the ugly stuff in the Championship.
7. Gary Middlehurst (Rochdale Hornets)
Gary Middlehurst is a coach’s dream, and doesn’t Alan Kilshaw know it following his arrival at Rochdale.
The forward’s work-rate is outstanding. His stats are off the chart on a weekly basis and that has proved so pivotal to Rochdale since his move from rivals Oldham.
6. Keal Carlile (Featherstone Rovers)
The second Fev player on the list is the hooker, who has made a huge impression following his move from Sheffield Eagles.
Carlyle has benefitted from playing behind a dominant pack more often than not, but he has clinically made the most of it by controlling the ruck in the majority of games he has played in.
5. Rob Massam (Rochdale Hornets)
Massam’s eye-catching performances in League 1 meant it was time a club took a gamble on him.
Rochdale were the club to do so, and they have been repaid excellently by the Welsh international, who has stepped up to the Championship superbly.
18 tries in 23 games make him one of the standout signings of the year.
4. Gareth Moore (Dewsbury Rams)
The halfback was the answer to Dewsbury’s halfback prayers.
The Rams had been badly missing a halfback all season, and it was evident with them stranded in the Championship drop zone.
But after finding himself on the way out of Halifax, Moore has been the catalyst to Dewsbury’s revival. Since he joined the club, they have won six of the eight games he has played in and he has scored five tries.
An outstanding piece of business for the club.
3. Andrew Heffernan (Hull Kingston Rovers)
The centre joined the club from Down Under and had an immediate impact.
With an astonishing 17 tries in 19 appearances, Heffernan is one of the standout additions of the season.
It’s already evident that Tim Sheens has a Super League standard player on his hands.
2. Shane Grady (Halifax RLFC)
Fax fans were left mourning the departure of long-serving second-row Dane Manning after he decided to leave the club to join Batley.
Most thought he was irreplaceable in the blue and white. However, Grady was drafted in from Dewsbury to take the number 11 jersey, and he has been nothing short of a revelation.
Richard Marshall himself perhaps couldn’t even have anticipated his influence. In 21 games he has been one of their standout stars.
1. Jarrod Sammut (London Broncos)
Sammut’s arrival from relegated Workington was an undoubted gamble.
But how Andrew Henderson has been proved correct to make the move.
The former Super League halfback has been incredible for the Broncos. While the magic Sammut provides remains as spectacular as ever, he has redefined perceptions by fitting perfectly into the Broncos structure.
The off-the-cuff style of old is gone, now he has found a way to showcase his individual brilliance as well as compliment everyone else.
He’s also scored 21 tries in 19 games, which is nothing short of outstanding.