Analysing possible off-contract options to replace Tommy Makinson at St Helens


Earlier this week, Love Rugby League revealed the full list of over 150 Super League players who will be coming off-contract at the end of this season.

It is a lengthy list featuring a number of high-profile, international players – and it is a list that includes one of St Helens‘ longest-serving players who is set to leave the club at the end of this season, winger Tommy Makinson.

Makinson is expected to depart the Totally Wicked Stadium to sign a two-year deal with Catalans Dragons, as part of a significant winger merry-go-round that also includes Dragons duo Tom Johnstone and Tom Davies, who are heading for Wakefield and Hull KR respectively if rumours are to be believed.

The Saints were reportedly interested in Davies before Rovers secured a deal for the ex-Wigan man, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t other options on the market coming off-contract. Looking at both sides of the world, here’s some options for the Saints to consider.

Kayal Iro

The 24-year-old and son of former Saints star Kevin Iro has had to remain patient at Cronulla Sharks, making just one NRL appearance for the club so far.

Entering the final year of his contract with the Sharks, Iro’s future is bound to come under some scrutiny, and there will be plenty of speculation about where he could play in 2025. He has already been subject to rumours about a potential Super League move before, with links to Castleford Tigers last year ultimately coming to nothing.

Iro is a talent who could certainly thrive in Super League for sure – and with the links to his famous father already in place at the Saints, could he be one that enters their radar?

NOW READ: The full list of every off-contract player in Super League this year

Fouad Yaha

It’s hard to believe that French international Yaha is still only 27. It is fast approaching ten years since Yaha made his debut in Super League for Catalans, albeit with a stint in French rugby union sandwiched in between his two spells as a Catalans player.

However, he has found opportunities tough to come by in the last year or so, thanks largely to the form of Davies and Johnstone. He made just three appearances for Catalans last year, as well as two on a short-term loan at Hull KR. But his record is still up there with the best: 101 tries in 154 appearances for Catalans, meaning he still has plenty to offer someone.

Off-contract at the end of this year, if Yaha did want to explore a new challenge, there would be Super League clubs interested for sure.

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Daniel Tupou

Now 32, there’s an argument the Sydney Roosters star may choose to finish his career in the NRL.

But he is off-contract at the end of the season regardless, and will no doubt be offered to clubs on both sides of the world until any uncertainty over his future is resolved. Tupou has a proven pedigree of scoring tries at the highest level, approaching 150 for the Roosters alone.

A star of their Premiership-winning teams under Trent Robinson, if the Saints are looking for a big name to entice to Super League to potentially replace Makinson, you’d imagine someone like Tupou would be near the top of the list.

Josh Charnley

Okay, we accept, this one would certainly rank as controversial. Charnley may well be 32 now but he is far from past his best, as last season’s blistering form for Leigh Leopards and his ultimate recall to the England fray epitomised.

Leigh would undoubtedly be keen to keep a player who still has plenty of rugby to offer someone at the very highest level, but if the Saints are looking for a proven try-scorer with a long record of success at the highest level, they could do a lot worse than Charnley.

That’s without mentioning, of course, his obvious links to the other side of the Billinge Hill..

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