Every Super League club’s longest-serving player: Leroy Cudjoe, Jonny Lomax, Liam Farrell…

Ben Olawumi
Leroy Cudjoe, Jonny Lomax, Liam Farrell

From left to right: Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield Giants), Jonny Lomax (St Helens) & Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors) are their respective clubs' longest-serving players

We’ve looked at the longest-serving player at every Super League club, based on when they made their most recent debut at senior level in that club’s colours.

For example, Marc Sneyd first debuted for Salford Red Devils in 2010 but spent time at Castleford Tigers and Hull FC before returning to Greater Manchester in 2022. Accordingly, his ‘service’ begins in 2022.

Additionally however, where players have featured on loan before signing permanently, that is counted.

Leigh Leopards’ Tom Nisbet is an example of this, debuting for them – under the ‘Centurions’ guise in 2021, and didn’t play for any other club at senior level before joining Leigh permanently in 2022, so his length of service spans back to that debut as a loanee in 2021.

Without further ado, every Super League club’s longest-serving player…

Castleford Tigers – Paul McShane

Paul McShane
Castleford’s longest-serving player Paul McShane in action for the Tigers in February 2016

Three-time England international McShane, 34, joined Castleford from Wakefield Trinity at the back end of July 2015 in a deal which saw Scott Moore go the other way. His Tigers debut came on August 7, 2015 against Hull FC and as we approach the nine-year mark since then, he’s now their co-captain, yet to don another club’s shirt.

The hooker – who is two appearances away from the milestone of 350 at club level in his career – won the League Leaders’ Shield with the Fords in 2017, and went on to be crowned the Man of Steel in 2020.

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Catalans Dragons – Julian Bousquet

32-year-old Bousquet debuted for Catalans on July 14 2012 against Hull FC having joined from FC Lézignan in the off-season prior. Now a 15-time France international, the Fabrezan-born ace has gone on to make 268 appearances in total for the Dragons to date.

The prop won the Challenge Cup in 2018, featuring at Wembley in the competition’s showpiece against Warrington Wolves, and has also appeared in their two Grand Final defeats at Old Trafford – 2021 & 2023.

Huddersfield Giants – Leroy Cudjoe

Leroy Cudjoe
Huddersfield’s longest-serving player Leroy Cudjoe in action for the Giants in 2008

One-club man Cudjoe, who joined Huddersfield’s academy, has gone on to make 373 senior appearances for his hometown club to date. The first of those came on February 10, 2008 against Leeds Rhinos, one of just three appearances that has seen the stalwart come off the interchange bench.

Now 36, the 12-time England international won the 2013 League Leaders’ Shield with the Giants. He’s also featured in two Challenge Cup finals, both ending in defeat, in 2009 & 2022.

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Hull FC – Danny Houghton

Another one-club man who has represented his boyhood team is 35-year-old Houghton, whose senior Hull debut came on July 13, 2007 against Harlequins. 447 further appearances have followed that to date, with the only other shirt he’s donned being that of England Knights, featuring three times on the international front for them between 2011 and 2012.

The hooker is FC’s highest appearance maker in the summer era by some distance, with only three men ever featuring more for the Airlie Birds. Thrice elected the Black & Whites’ skipper, Houghton has featured in three Challenge Cup finals – 2013, 2016 & 2017. FC were victorious in the latter two, with Houghton also winning Super League’s Man of Steel in 2016.

Hull KR – Matt Parcell

Marc Sneyd, Matt Parcell
Hull KR’s longest-serving player Matt Parcell pictured in action on his Robins debut against Hull FC in June 2019

In terms of being permanently contracted, Mikey Lewis would be KR’s longest servant, but Parcell pips him when his loan stint at the back end of the 2019 season is included. The Australian’s debut for the Robins – as a loanee – came on June 27, 2019 in a derby against Hull FC, scoring in an 18-10 win at Craven Park.

He’s not donned another club’s shirt since, joining on a permanent basis ahead of the following campaign, and now has 107 KR appearances on his CV. The 31-year-old – who looks set to depart KR come the end of the 2024 season – came off the interchange bench to score a try in the 2023 Challenge Cup final, ultimately losing out to Leigh in golden point extra time.

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Leeds Rhinos – Ash Handley

Academy product Handley debuted at senior level for Leeds on August 17, 2014 in a defeat at London Broncos. The winger, 28, went on to feature on dual-registration for Featherstone Rovers, but has never been permanently contracted anywhere else than Headingley.

Having scored 13 tries in the 2015 treble-winning campaign, he now has 205 appearances for Leeds, also scoring a brace in the 2020 Challenge Cup final victory against Salford Red Devils. That year, Handley ended as Super League’s top try-scorer, and the two-time England international made his first appearance in a Grand Final in 2022, beaten by St Helens at Old Trafford.

Leigh Leopards – Keanan Brand

Keanan Brand
Leigh’s longest-serving player Keanan Brand pictured in action for the then-Centurions in 2021

We mentioned Tom Nisbet in the opening stanza of this article, but 25-year-old Brand pips him to the title of Leigh’s longest-serving player having been on loan from the start of the 2021 campaign. The Love Island Series 9 star first featured for the club, then Centurions, on March 26, 2021 against Wigan Warriors.

He was still a Warrington player then, but didn’t make an appearance for the Wolves then before signing permanently at the Leigh Sports Village ahead of the 2022 campaign, in which he featured 23 times to help Adrian Lam’s side make an immediate return to Super League. Brand didn’t make an appearance for Leigh last term, and this year has so far made just one.

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London Broncos – Will Lovell

Lovell’s first appearance for the Broncos came at Magic Weekend in 2012, but was eventually released and joined London Skolars before returning to the Broncos ahead of the 2017 season. He then got injured before he’d played though, and took up a role in the club’s community department rather than them extending his playing contract.

Accordingly, the 31-year-old didn’t make his latest debut for the Broncos until February 4, 2018 in a win against Barrow Raiders, but he hasn’t departed since, and remains a key cog in Mike Eccles’ squad having been promoted back up to Super League. With 13 appearances so far this year, Lovell has taken his total tally in their colours up to 159.

Salford Red Devils – Chris Atkin

Chris Atkin
Salford’s longest-serving player Chris Atkin (centre, carrying the ball) pictured during his Red Devils debut against Leeds Rhinos in February 2020

31-year-old utility Atkin joined Salford ahead of the 2020 season following his departure from Hull KR, and made his debut for the Red Devils in Round 1 that year at home against Leeds on February 22, 2020, losing out 22-8.

Having already reached the same tally for Swinton Lions at the start of his career,  the two-time England Knights international is just six appearances off hitting 100 in a Salford shirt having surpassed the milestone of 250 career appearances earlier this year.

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St Helens – Jonny Lomax

Lomax signed his first professional deal with Saints in 2006 having, coming through their youth setup to make his debut at senior level on March 27, 2009 – starting at full-back away against Wakefield. Now the Red V’s captain, the 33-year-old has made 340 appearances for them to date, with only five men making more for the club in the summer era.

The playmaker – another one-club man – is an 11-time England international, with four appearances for Great Britain also on his CV. He’s won everything there is to win with Saints, featuring in six Grand Finals and winning the Harry Sunderland Trophy in 2022 with a man of the match performance at Old Trafford against Leeds in the most recent of those.

Warrington Wolves – Stefan Ratchford

Stefan Ratchford
Warrington’s longest-serving player Stefan Ratchford in action for the Wolves at Magic Weekend in 2012

Ratchford, 35, had already made 108 senior appearances for Salford when he joined Warrington ahead of the 2012 campaign, and holds the Wolves’ longest-serving player title having debuted in a 20-20 draw at Hull FC on February 5, 2012. He pips Ben Currie, who is six years his junior, to that title by circa two months due to when Currie’s first senior appearance came.

The eight-time England international, is now Wire’s club captain and has made 336 appearances in their colours to date with only three men featuring more often for the club in the Super League era. Two-time Challenge Cup winner Ratchford has played in four Grand Final defeats, winning the Harry Sunderland Trophy in their loss against Wigan at Old Trafford in 2018.

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Wigan Warriors – Liam Farrell

16-time England international Farrell came through Wigan’s academy to debut at senior level for his hometown club on April 5, 2010 against Wakefield. Earlier that year, he had featured on dual-registration for Widnes Vikings, but since his Warriors debut, he’s not donned any other club’s shirt in any capacity.

The second-rower, a five-time Super League winner who has won everything there is to win, has now featured 367 times for the Cherry & Whites, with only Sean O’Loughlin making more for the club in the summer era. Included in the Dream Team six times, 33-year-old Farrell won the Harry Sunderland Trophy in 2016 for his showing in their Grand Final success against Warrington.

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