Super League Ins and Outs
As another extraordinary Super League season draws to a close, the Rugby League merry go round begins to whirr into action again thanks in part to the newly re-named Salford Red Devils cranking it up last week by announcing no less than 12 signings for next season. Additions to the squad included several Super League based players such as, Rangi Chase, Adrian Morley, Gareth Hock, Tim Smith as well as a couple of NRL signings; Junior S’au and Steve Rapira. Dr Koukash has promised Salford fans they will be favourites for the Grand Final in 2015 - so he had better hope the team gel quickly.
Hull FC revealed this week they are bringing back big Iafeta Palaaesina to Super League after 12 months away playing for Limoux in the French Elite League. The arrival of ‘Feka’ has signalled the end of Andy Lynch's days at Hull, with a move back to his first club, Castleford, now completed. Hull also said an emotional farewell to Tom Briscoe after the game against Catalan last week, although it remains to be seen where he will be heading with a few teams thought to be in the frame.
Sadly due to factors away from the pitch fans of Wakefield and Broncos will probably have little to cheer about over the close season. Their exit doors are likely to be far busier than their arrivals. With the Wildcats having already turned down offers on a number of first teamers including talismanic captain Danny Kirmond, but having cashed in on Tim Smith (Salford) and Kyle Amor (St Helens) already it remains to be seen if Wakefield can keep hold of the backbone of the team. As for Broncos, their very existence seems to be hanging in the balance. Is this season going to be the final one with a London presence in Super League? Signs look ominous with the likes of Kieron Dixon, Dan Sarginson, Tony Clubb being linked to pastures new.
There also looks like being a number of new faces arriving in the South of France next year with three of the Dragon’s stand-out players leaving the club this winter. Remi Casty is off to the NRL to link up with ex-Dragons coach Trent Robinson at Sydney Roosters, while Damien Blanch is returning to Australia for family reasons. Finally, but by no means least, Steve ‘Beaver’ Menzies has finally decided to hang up his head guard at the ripe old age of 39. It is not an understatement to say that Menzies will be a loss to the whole sport of Rugby League not just for Catalan.
Whilst we are still waiting for the likes of Leeds, Saints, Wigan and Huddersfield to make any significant moves in the transfer market, once the playoffs, Grand Final and World Cup are out of the way a flurry of faces, old and new, are sure to begin arriving at these clubs.