An off-contract player every Super League club should prioritise re-signing

Aaron Bower
Patrick Mago, Esan Marsters, Marc Sneyd, Rhyse Martin Super League Alamy

Patrick Mago (Wigan), Esan Marsters (Huddersfield), Marc Sneyd (Salford) and Rhyse Martin (Leeds) in Super League action

The deadline of May 1 when Super League players approaching the end of their contract can officially enter talks with other clubs is almost upon us: and you suspect talks are already well underway about retentions.

Love Rugby League has already revealed the list of over 150 off-contract players in Super League at the end of this season and that got us thinking: who should every club be prioritising at the top of their list when it comes to retention?

Here’s our pick of one player at every Super League club that will high up on that list..

Castleford Tigers: Jason Qareqare

It’s hard to believe Qareqare is still only 20, given how long he’s been a member of the first team setup at Castleford. You could argue he is yet to properly secure a regular run in the Tigers’ side since his unforgettable debut, with a loan spell at Bradford last year underlining how he’d fallen down the pecking order.

But there is no doubting Qareqare’s talent, and with his best years still a long way ahead of him, there’s a strong argument the Tigers should be moving fast to tie down one of their most promising young players in the years ahead.

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Catalans Dragons: Matt Ikuvalu

The former Sydney Roosters centre is coming to the end of his initial two-year deal, but he still has plenty of rugby in him you feel, at the age of just 30.

Ikuvalu played just 15 times last year but if he can remain fully fit, there’s no doubt he could have a positive role to play for the Dragons not only this year, but next too if they decide to retain him.

Huddersfield Giants: Esan Marsters

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

Another centre, this time at Huddersfield Giants. At the age of 27, you feel Esan Marsters’ best rugby is still ahead of him in terms of his career, and Ian Watson’s side would be foolish not to consider new terms for the Cook Islands international.

Hull FC: Jack Brown

There’s been speculation a number of clubs are interested in the services of Hull prop Brown – and he’s surely one player the Black and Whites will be looking to tie down.

Young, British and with his best years undoubtedly still ahead of him, Brown would be a great signing for most clubs in Super League. He’s one that Hull supporters will hope is at the top of the priority list for new director of rugby Richie Myler.

Hull KR: Matt Parcell

Parcell has been a fine servant for Hull KR since joining from Leeds Rhinos, and while he is now approaching the final years of his playing career, there is arguably still a role for him to play in 2025.

While Rovers now have Jez Litten as their starting number nine and promising youngster Reiss Butterworth, Parcell could certainly go round for one more year and allow Butterworth’s development to continue under the guidance of two senior hookers.

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Leigh Leopards: Josh Charnley

A bit of a no-brainer, this one. One of the most prolific try-scorers in Super League for the majority of his career, Charnley is still very much at the top of his game – as his record last season showed.

There’s no doubting the Leopards would be keen to keep a player who still has plenty to offer at the highest level: though Charnley is one player you suspect wouldn’t be short of interest elsewhere if a deal couldn’t be struck.

Earlier this month, Love Rugby League reported that Leigh were expected to retain key man Charnley for 2025, but it has yet to be officially confirmed by the club.

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Leeds Rhinos: Rhyse Martin

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

Love Rugby League revealed at the start of this year how Martin was attracting interest from clubs in the NRL about a move back home. Publicly, Martin has been somewhat non-committal, which does leave an element of doubt over the situation.

But Martin has been one of the Rhinos‘ most consistent players in recent years and whether it’s his razor-sharp accuracy from the goal-kicking tee or his ability to fill in multiple positions, Martin will be high on Leeds’ retention list.

London Broncos: Lee Kershaw

Practically the entirety of London’s first-team squad is out of contract at the end of this year, and there’ll be a number of players Mike Eccles will be keen to retain if, as expected, the Broncos are back in the Championship in 2025.

But one individual who has undoubted Super League quality is winger Kershaw, who has already impressed despite London’s struggles in the early part of 2025. He will have plenty of interest if he continues that fine form throughout the course of this year, but London will certainly be keen to retain whatever division they’re in.

Salford Red Devils: Marc Sneyd

Who else? Salford have a few valuable first-team players off-contract later this year but you’d suspect they’re already well underway with convincing their most reliable and important player to commit to a new deal.

The Red Devils have had a number of big players depart for pastures new in recent years, but Sneyd is different. A Salford fan and a Red Devil through and through, you sense this is one deal that will get done before the vultures come circling.

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St Helens: Sione Mata’utia

He has an extension for another year into 2025 – and it’s definitely one that the Saints should be looking to trigger.

Mata’utia has great utility value, and is a real leader in a St Helens pack littered with talent. There’s no doubting that he should be near the top of their priority list for a new deal, if it hasn’t been sorted already..

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Warrington Wolves: Leon Hayes

Leon Hayes
Leon Hayes in action for Warrington

One of the brightest young stars at the Halliwell Jones Stadium will surely not be going anywhere beyond the end of this year, you suspect.

Hayes has already made an impact under Sam Burgess in the early weeks of this season and it’s not difficult to imagine a Warrington Wolves half-back pairing with Hayes in for a good few years to come.

The 20-year-old is set to spend a lengthy period on the sidelines after suffering a serious ankle injury in last weekend’s defeat at Salford, but you’d wager on Hayes being a part of the Wire furniture for years to come.

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Wigan Warriors: Patrick Mago

A year or so ago, there may have been a few Wigan Warriors supporters who weren’t too moved about the prospect of Patrick Mago leaving the DW Stadium.

But he’s been in great form in the last few months for Matt Peet’s side, and is definitely one that they will look to keep hold of, you would think.

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