7 times rugby league players have re-signed for former clubs following Jordan Abdull’s Hull FC return

Ben Olawumi
Jordan Abdull, Ryan Hampshire, Leon Pryce

From left to right: Jordan Abdull, Ryan Hampshire, Leon Pryce have all made returns to former clubs following prolonged stints away

The news of Jordan Abdull’s move back across the city to Hull FC from 2025 got us thinking about others in the game who have returned to old stomping grounds.

Over the years, there have been plenty, including those who tried their hand in the NRL for a short period before returning to the same Super League club – Dan Sarginson is an example.

We were more interested in those who have spent a decent chunk of time away from a club but eventually decided to return.

Below, we take a look at seven of those, kicking things off with Abdull himself, who has penned a long-term deal at the MKM Stadium.

Jordan Abdull (Hull FC)

Jordan Abdull, Hull FC
Jordan Abdull in action for Hull FC in 2018

Hailing from Hull, the Black & Whites were Abdull’s boyhood club, and it was with them that the playmaker got his first opportunity in the professional game.

The one-time England international debuted for the Airlie Birds back in 2014, making 54 appearances for them before departing permanently at the end of 2018 having spent time out on loan with Doncaster, Featherstone Rovers & rivals Hull KR while they were in the Championship.

After a year with London Broncos, he joined KR permanently in 2020, and has remained contracted there ever since. This year has been spent on loan at Catalans Dragons however, and Abdull will stay in the south of France until the end of this season before returning to Hull for the 2025 season.

Having penned a three-year deal running until the end of the 2027 campaign, it will have been seven years since his departure from FC by the time the 28-year-old pulls on their shirt again.

Tom Briscoe (Hull FC)

Tom Briscoe
A fresh-faced Tom Briscoe in action for Hull FC during his debut season in 2008

Veteran Briscoe too started out his professional career at Hull FC, signing for them from local side Featherstone Lions and debuting in Super League in 2008.

90 tries in 147 appearances followed before departing for Leeds at the end of the 2013 season, and in nine years with the Rhinos, the winger won everything there is to win domestically, setting records aplenty.

Linking up with Leigh Leopards in 2023, the 34-year-old lifted the Challenge Cup for a third time, and – including his 18 games in an England shirt – took his career appearance tally past the 400 mark.

He returned to FC earlier this year in a deal which saw Darnell McIntosh move the other way. It had been over a decade between his last appearance for the Airlie Birds and his first back when he made a try-scoring second debut against Warrington Wolves at the beginning of May.

Marc Sneyd (Salford Red Devils)

Marc Sneyd, 2013
Marc Sneyd in action for Salford – then City Reds – at Magic Weekend in 2013

Another England international in Oldham-born Sneyd came through the ranks at Salford, and made 50 appearances for the Greater Manchester outfit before departing at the end of 2014 having spent that year on loan at Castleford Tigers.

Hull FC were the club he joined permanently as of 2015, going on to win the Challenge Cup in back-to-back years, awarded the Lance Todd Trophy in both the 2016 & 2017 Wembley successes.

Having scored 1,350 points during his time with the Airlie Birds, 33-year-old Sneyd remains top of their charts for goals, drop goals & overall points in the summer era.

The half-back returned to Salford in 2022, eight years after initially departing. He is now an integral part of Paul Rowley’s side, and recently became the Red Devils’ all-time top points scorer in the Super League era. Barring any major injuries or absences, Sneyd should soon reach the landmark of 2,500 career points scored, currently 135 away from reaching that figure.

Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos)

Ryan Hall, 2012
Ryan Hall celebrates as he scores a try for Leeds Rhinos in the 2012 Super League Grand Final

Six-time Super League winner Hall falls into the same category as Abdull having agreed a one-year deal to re-join Leeds in 2025, set to take up an off-field role at Headingley come the end of next season.

By the time 2025 comes around, it will have been seven years since his first spell with the Rhinos came to an end in 2018, coming through their academy to win everything there is to win at least twice over.

The 36-year-old winger – Leeds’ second-highest try-scorer in the Super League – departed Headingley for the NRL and Sydney Roosters, returning to the British game and Super League in 2021 with Hull KR, who he will end a four-season stay with come the end of 2024 to re-join the Rhinos.

47-time England & Great Britain international Hall – soon to become Super League’s all-time top try-scorer – has not lifted silverware with the Robins, coming closest last year when they were beaten in the Challenge Cup final by Leigh. Having already featured 330 times for Leeds, he needs just 10 more appearances to reach 100 in KR colours.

Ryan Hampshire (Wigan Warriors)

Ryan Hampshire, Ben Flower, 2013
Ryan Hampshire hugs Wigan Warriors team-mate Ben Flower as the pair celebrate a win in 2013

Hampshire, affectionately known by his team-mates as ‘Rocky’, was born in Wakefield but came through the Wigan academy to debut for the Warriors at senior level in 2013. With loan stints at both Workington Town & Castleford Tigers during his first spell with the Cherry & Whites, he made 30 appearances for Wigan before departing at the end of the 2016 season.

Nearby neighbours Leigh were his next home in 2017, going on to join hometown club Wakefield the following year and eventually returning to Cas permanently in 2022.

The 29-year-old has been plagued by injuries in recent years, with a total of 166 at senior level now on his CV, including the seven he’s made for Wigan since returning ahead of the 2023 campaign.

Ending a seven-year absence from the club, he formed part of Matt Peet’s Super League-winning squad last term, and remains in their ranks this season, somewhat of a utility deputy across the backline.

Micky Higham (Leigh Centurions)

Micky Higham, 2019
Micky Higham in action at the 2019 Summer Bash for Leigh Centurions

We’ve gone back a little further for these last two, starting with 43-year-old Higham, who had three separate stints with Leigh during his career.

The Billinge-born hooker, an eight-time England & Great Britain international, started his career at Hilton Park, debuting for the then-known Centurions back in 1999.

Departing for St Helens at the end of the following season, winning the Grand Final with them in 2002 and appearing in the 2003 World Club Challenge. Higham would also go on to feature for both Wigan & Warrington Wolves before returning to Leigh in 2015 for a £50,000 transfer fee, a whole 15 years after he’d last donned a Centurions shirt.

Helping Leigh back into Super League, he called time on his career at the end of 2019 having featured for the Centurions in the top flight in 2017, hanging up the boots with 554 career appearances to his name.

Leon Pryce (Bradford Bulls)

Leon Pryce, 2003
Leon Pryce celebrates Bradford Bulls’ 2003 Challenge Cup triumph

Bradford-born rugby league stalwart Pryce, who represented England, Great Britain & Yorkshire on numerous occasions, came through the Bulls’ academy ranks and debuted for them in 1998.

Winning 10 major honours during his first stint at Odsal, he departed in 2006 and made the move to Saints, also going on to play for both Catalans Dragons & Hull FC in Super League.

Having lifted the Challenge Cup for the sixth time in his illustrious career with Hull in 2016, he left FC at the end of that year and announced he’d be returning to hometown club Bradford, who were preparing for a third year in the Championship amidst a whole host of financial issues.

12 years on from the last appearance of his first stint at Odsal, Pryce made a second debut against Hull KR in February 2017. The 42-year-old however featured just 10 more times for the Bulls that year before deciding it was time to hang his boots up, doing so having won no fewer than 19 major honours and with 525 career appearances on his CV.