13 of the best off-contract Super League players this season: Sneyd, Walmsley, Martin..

Aaron Bower

It’s fast approaching May 1 – meaning any off-contract players are officially allowed to enter talks with other clubs.

And this year, there’s a bumper list of over 150 Super League players who are free agents and on the open market at the end of this year. Of course, many of those will have their futures sorted before the season comes to an end – and there’s already rumours some have even agreed moves already.

That got us thinking: from the 150-plus players on the off-contract list, what’s the best 13 we could field? It’s a pretty handy line-up..

1. Gareth O’Brien (Leigh Leopards)

Gareth O'Brien (Leigh Leopards) kicks a drop goal to send Wakefield Trinity down

O’Brien has been one of the most consistent performers in Super League for a number of years, and his versatility will undoubtedly make him an attractive option to a number of clubs.

Whether the Leopards look to retain him remains to be seen, with a move for David Armstrong still being mooted in the background potentially nudging O’Brien down the pecking order at Leigh. But O’Brien definitely still has something to offer someone going into next year.

2. Tommy Makinson (St Helens)

Tommy Makinson St Helens Alamy
Tommy Makinson in action for St Helens

One of a handful of players who, if rumours are to be believed, has already secured a move elsewhere for 2025. Catalans Dragons are understood to have secured Makinson’s signature on a two-year deal next year, taking one of the biggest names in Super League off the market.

But as things stand, nothing has been finalised in regards to Makinson’s future and while the chances of him remaining at the Saints appear to be looking slimmer as the weeks progress, Makinson would be a player who would command interest from all over the game if he was available.

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3. Esan Marsters (Huddersfield Giants)

Esan Marsters
Huddersfield Giants’ Esan Marsters in action against Leigh Leopards in Round 1 – Alamy

Both of Huddersfield’s starting centres are on the open market as of May 1, with Kevin Naiqama out of contract as well as Marsters. The Cook Islands international is, like Naiqama, a player bound to command interest.

He also has his best years ahead of him age-wise and while you would expect Huddersfield to push towards tabling a new deal and re-signing Marsters, the player isn’t going to be short of interest from elsewhere.

4. Ricky Leutele (Leigh Leopards)

Ricky Leutele Leigh Leopards Alamy

Injury stunted Leutele’s 2023 but he looks to be in impressive form in the early stages of this season at Leigh Leopards.

The fact he is a quota player would complicate matters when it comes to clubs looking to snap up the centre but on his day, Leutele is still one of the very best in Super League and would surely be able to secure a deal somewhere.

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5. Tom Johnstone (Catalans Dragons)

Tom Johnstone Catalans Dragons SWpix Super League
Photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix

Like Makinson, Johnstone is another who is believed to be closing in on agreeing a deal elsewhere for 2025, with a return to first club Wakefield Trinity seemingly on the cards.

But if that wasn’t to transpire for whatever reason, there’s absolutely no doubt that Johnstone is a player who would have clubs queuing up at the door to sign him.

6. Bevan French (Wigan Warriors)

Bevan French ahead of the Super League Round 21 clash with Hull KR.

In reality, the only club in Super League that French would be playing for in 2025 is Wigan, with a move to another top-flight club on this side of the world difficult to imagine.

Instead, it will be NRL clubs who are eyeing up a move for the outstanding Warriors half-back, who is still very much at the peak of his powers and is arguably the biggest name of them all off-contract later this year.

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7. Marc Sneyd (Salford Red Devils)

Marc Sneyd
Salford Red Devils’ Marc Sneyd lines up a conversion against Hull KR – Alamy

While the big names come and go at Salford, Sneyd remains one of the most influential stars at the Red Devils and arguably the heartbeat of their side in recent seasons.

He’s a player the Red Devils are almost certainly going to try and retain at all costs to try and stunt the player drain that’s happened there in recent seasons. But Sneyd, even now in the latter portion of his career, still has plenty to offer someone.

8. Alex Walmsley (St Helens)

Alex Walmsley St Helens World Club Challenge SWpix
Photo: David Neilson/www.photosport.nz/SWpix.com

He’s one of the biggest names on the open market this year – in terms of both reputation and size.

Still one of the most destructive and impactful props in Super League, Walmsley is not going to be short of suits when it comes to a deal for 2025, you suspect – and you would wager his current employers are also included in that bracket, too.

9. Matt Parcell (Hull KR)

While Jez Litton has arguably established himself as first-choice hooker at Hull KR, Parcell still has a crucial role to play in Willie Peters’ squad – and he stands a fair chance of being retained by the Robins later this year.

Still only 31, Parcell still has plenty to offer Super League and if Rovers decided to go in a different direction, you could almost guarantee someone would offer him a deal.

10. Oli Partington (Salford Red Devils)

Ollie Partington Salford Red Devils Paul Rowley PA
Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire/PA Images

Another player who is already being linked with a move elsewhere for 2025, with Catalans reportedly closing in on a deal to lure Partington away from Salford and to the south of France next year.

Like so many players who have arrived at Salford with a point to prove, Partington has evolved into one of the most impressive forwards in the competition and interest from other clubs is certainly no surprise. The big clubs will certainly be interested.

11. Rhyse Martin (Leeds Rhinos)

Rhyse Martin Leeds Rhinos Alamy
Rhyse Martin kicking a conversion for Leeds Rhinos in 2024

Martin is already subject to interest from the NRL in regards to a move for 2025, and he has remained noncommittal on what his future looks like beyond this season at Leeds.

The Rhinos would undoubtedly be keen to hang on to a player who has become part of the furniture at Headingley and a key player in their short and long-term plans. And that’s without mentioning his goal-kicking record, too.

12. Mike McMeeken (Catalans Dragons)

Mike McMeeken Catalans

If reports are to be believed, McMeeken is already on the verge of agreeing a move for 2025 with a deal to take him to Wakefield Trinity supposedly on the brink of being completed.

McMeeken has taken his game to another level since joining Catalans, and is now a bonafide England international and one of the most impressive forwards in the competition. If it’s not to be Wakefield, someone will almost certainly table a significant deal for McMeeken’s services.

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13. Luke Yates (Huddersfield Giants)

Challenge Cup Luke Yates

The Giants have a number of key men off-contract at the end of this season, and Australian forward Yates is chief among them. He is still one of the best players in his position on his day and is almost certainly going to command interest from rival clubs later this year when the May 1 deadline passes.

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