Dream XIII of Super League players out of contract at season’s end

Ben Olawumi
John Asiata, Marc Sneyd, Patrick Mago

From left to right: Leigh Leopards' John Asiata, Salford Red Devils' Marc Sneyd & Wigan Warriors' Patrick Mago

May 1 has now passed, and there are over 150 players in Super League that are set to see their contracts expire at the end of the season. Accordingly, just for a bit of fun, we’ve made a Dream XIII out of them.

Only two clubs in Super League have an off-contract list which doesn’t currently sit in double figures – Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors. New boys London Broncos have the most, with an eye-watering 26 of their squad off-contract as things stand.

The clubs with number of players off-contract in brackets: Castleford Tigers (14), Catalans Dragons (16), Huddersfield Giants (10), Hull FC (13), Hull KR (11), Leeds (6), Leigh Leopards (20), London (26), Salford Red Devils (11), St Helens (12), Warrington Wolves (13) and Wigan (5).

FULL LIST: Every Super League player out of contract at the end of the 2024 season

Our Dream XIII of Super League players out of contract at season’s end

1. Ryan Hampshire (Wigan Warriors)

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Ryan Hampshire (left) and Kruise Leeming (right) celebrate a Wigan Warriors try in 2024

Full-back wasn’t a position, unlike others, in which we had a glut of players to choose from. Accordingly, we’ve turned to a man who isn’t an outright #1, but is more than comfortable slotting in there in the shape of Hampshire.

Offering versatility aplenty, there’s a reason why Hampshire isn’t someone that world champions Wigan let go out on loan or anything similar, and that’s because of how important he is – the go to guy if one of their starters needs to miss a game. The Warriors academy product feels like he’s been around forever, but only turns 30 in December. He gets our #1 shirt.

2. Umyla Hanley (Leigh Leopards)

When LoveRugbyLeague caught up with Leigh boss Adrian Lam in pre-season, he told us that youngster Hanley was going to be one to watch out for this year, and so it’s proven. After a long old wait, the 22-year-old got his opportunity following an injury to Tom Briscoe, and hasn’t looked back since.

He’s got 10 tries to date this year across all competitions, and would appear to have cemented his spot in the Leopards’ side. That said, following the arrival of Darnell McIntosh, if Leigh opt not to hand Hanley an extension then we’d put him in our XIII in a heartbeat.

RELATED: Inside the rise of Leigh Leopards’ (not so) secret weapon Umyla Hanley with big kudos from Adrian Lam

3. Esan Marsters (Huddersfield Giants)

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Esan Marsters in action for Huddersfield Giants in 2024

As with most at Huddersfield, Cook Islands international Marsters has really upped his game this year, and is deservedly getting the plaudits for doing so. The centre is now the player with the second-most metres made across the whole competition, averaging over 160 per game, and gets a spot in our off-contract team.

On top of his yardage, the 27-year-old has also added more tries to his game, already bettering the tally he achieved across the entirety of last season in his first year as a Giant. He’s entering his prime, if you ask us!

4. Kevin Naiqama (Huddersfield Giants)

Make it a double, a Giants double that is in our centres with team-mate Naiqama partnering Marsters. The pair have been tremendous together so far this year, so given the fact that both are off-contract, we really couldn’t have had one without the other in our side.

Fiji international Naiqama, a three-time Grand Final winner during his time at St Helens, will be 36 by the time next season comes around but appears to be aging like a fine wine, scoring eight tries in 11 appearances so far this season. Providing he’s ready to go around again, he’s taking our #4 spot.

RELATED: The 10 oldest players in Super League in 2024, including Huddersfield Giants ace Kevin Naiqama

5. Jon Bennison (St Helens)

Jon Bennison
St Helens’ Jon Bennison celebrates a try against Leeds Rhinos in 2024

Bennison only turned 21 last December, but the next time he steps out for Saints, it’ll be his 50th appearance for the club. It feels like he’s got a spot in their 13 nailed down now, one of the names you see on Paul Wellens’ teamsheet every week. And though there are areas of his game that could definitely be improved, we believe he possesses the raw talent you need at least a bit of.

The youngster is calm under a high ball, and for his size, good in defence. He offers versatility in being able to slot in at full-back, and steps up to kick for Saints when needed, too. Though we don’t need him for his kicking skills, as we’ll detail shortly, he’s someone we’d definitely have in this XIII.

6. Olly Russell (Huddersfield Giants)

Russell can’t seem to get a sniff in the Giants team at the moment, sitting out the last six games as their unused 18th man. In our opinion, it’s a real shame that he hasn’t been allowed to get game time elsewhere, as there is real talent there from him to be had if given the opportunity.

The playmaker will turn 26 in October, and having been unlucky with injuries and the like, is just about approaching his 100th career appearance. You don’t make the majority of the 93 he’s made so far in Super League if you don’t possess a decent amount of quality, and for us, Russell deserves at least one last crack at cracking the top flight on a consistent basis.

RELATED: My Set of Six with Huddersfield Giants ace Olly Russell, featuring Kevin Sinfield & Penrith Panthers

7. Marc Sneyd (Salford Red Devils)

Marc Sneyd Salford Red Devils Alamy
Salford Red Devils’ Marc Sneyd

Sneyd’s left boot alone would have been enough to earn him a spot in this team, so having the rest of him – including his brain with an incredibly high rugby league IQ – in our team is something we’re definitely not turning down.

He simply elevates Salford, and earns them a ridiculous amount of points regardless of whether it’s him getting them or not. The 33-year-old might not be a  ‘glamorous’ player, but he simply gets the job done week in, week out. Put it this way, Sneyd has never had to drop out of Super League to earn a contract somewhere.

8. Patrick Mago (Wigan Warriors)

It felt like we saw the best of Mago towards the end of last season, and he earned a new deal from Wigan as a result of that. The Warriors tied him down for 2024, and have an option in their favour for 2025 – whether they take that up or not remains to be seen.

The Auckland native continues to have an impact off the interchange bench pretty much every week for Matt Peet’s side, with 67 of his 69 appearances for the club to date coming off the bench, so us sticking him in a starting line-up might not be ideal, we concede. We’d definitely, definitely have him in our squad if we could, though!

RELATED: Inside the diet of Wigan Warriors powerhouse Patrick Mago as club’s head chef talks fuelling the reigning Super League champions

9. Matt Parcell (Hull KR)

Matt Parcell
Hull KR’s Matt Parcell

A Grand Final winner with Leeds back in 2017, Parcell first featured as a loanee for KR at the back end of the 2019 season. The Australian recently reached the milestone of a century of appearances for the Robins, and there are very few of the games he’s played for them to date you can look back on with any sort of disappointment.

Parcell has played a big part in their transformation into one of Super League’s ‘chasers’ of the top clubs, and though he’s become the hooker that – in the most part – features off the interchange bench this year, he does so with impetus added as and when required. If you need to make some metres, let the 31-year-old have a run out of dummy half, simple.

10. Tom Amone (Leigh Leopards)

When we were scouring the off-contract list, a few names popped up that were instantly going in our team, and Amone’s was one of them. His development since joining Leigh back in 2022 has been astounding, a player who couldn’t even make the starting line-up in a Championship side back then, and last year ending up in the Super League Dream Team.

Having returned from injury recently, the powerhouse is back with a bang, as was always going to be the case. If the Leopards don’t have Amone out on the pitch, there’s a noticeable void in pretty much every aspect of their play. It’s hard to imagine they won’t be tying him down sooner rather than later, and if they don’t, there’s bound to be a wealth of suitors.

RELATED: Charting the rise of Leigh Leopards’ Tom Amone – one of Super League’s premium props

11. Sione Mata’utia (St Helens)

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St Helens’ Sione Mata’utia

If utility value is what you’re after in a player, then Mata’utia is the man you want in your team. This season alone, the ex-NRL ace – who made over 120 appearances Down Under for the Newcastle Knights – has featured in the centres, as a prop and in the second-row for Saints, the ultimate team player.

This is the ex-Samoa & Australia international’s fourth season at the Totally Wicked Stadium, and only once before has he not made over 20 appearances across a campaign, featuring 16 times in 2022. A very underrated talent, in our opinion, and come the start of next season, he’ll still only be 28. Again, we’re sure Saints will be putting a new deal on the table shortly.

12. Rhyse Martin (Leeds Rhinos)

Leeds haven’t enjoyed a great deal of success in recent times, that’s more than well-documented, but amidst all the criticism and disappointment which goes their way, very little is ever towards Martin. That’s with good reason to, with the Papua New Guinea international always a bright spark for the Rhinos.

He’s another who simply does his job well, delivering big numbers in terms of attacking and defensive statistics, a fan favourite at Headingley since his arrival midway through the 2019 season. If we needed any more kickers in this team, he’s not exactly a bad option either, recently surpassing 1,000 points for the Rhinos having now kicked 380 goals in their colours. Superb.

RELATED: Leeds Rhinos’ Papua New Guinea star Rhyse Martin the subject of NRL interest

13. John Asiata (Leigh Leopards)

John Asiata
Leigh Leopards captain John Asiata prepares for a game in 2024

Rounding our off-contract dream XIII off is Leigh captain Asiata, who – like many of his other team-mates – has been a huge miss for the Leopards in the early stages of this season while sidelined through injury. The loose forward also missed a chunk of games at the back end of 2023, with Adrian Lam’s side very noticeably seeing their levels drop during his time out.

It’s not too much of a stretch to say that the ex-Samoa & Tonga international is one of the best players to have ever pulled a Leigh shirt on, playing a huge part in the success they’ve had over the last two seasons, and now back fit ready to throw his weight into firing them back up the ladder this year. We’d have him in this 13 every day of the week and twice on a Sunday, no doubt.

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