Huddersfield Giants look set to lose one of their current overseas members following the signing of Australian forward Jack Murchie from 2024 on a three-year deal.
Murchie, 26, has been granted an early release from Parramatta Eels with 12 months remaining on his contract to make the move to England.
However, the latest addition means that the Super League outfit will lose one of their current quota spot players.
All fingers point towards 2022 Lance Todd Trophy winner Chris McQueen, who remains off-contract for next season and could end a four-year stint in West Yorkshire.
McQueen, who turned 36 earlier this month, joined the Giants in 2020 following his release from Wests Tigers initially on a three-month trial basis. He quickly impressed and has established himself as one of the club’s most consistent performers since.
The back-rower represented Queensland six times in State of Origin from 2013 to 2014, and later represented England with one cap under then-head coach Wayne Bennett.
He has made 73 Super League appearances to date, scoring 32 tries, and has been ever-present in the 2023 campaign.
Head coach Ian Watson confirmed that he will let the Australian announce his decision on his future when the time is right.
“Chris will announce it when he’s ready,” Watson previously told Yorkshire Post.
“We’re speaking to Crispy about what we see and what he sees. He’ll be the one that makes a decision and will let everyone know what he’s going to do.”
Nathan Peats, Esan Marsters, Kevin Naiqama, Tui Lolohea, captain Luke Yates and veteran forward Sebastine Ikahihifo are all contracted beyond the current season.
Hooker Peats only returned to the club from Toulouse ahead of 2023 on a three-year deal. Fellow 2023 signings Marsters and Naiqama both have one-year remaining on their respective contracts.
Australian Yates is contracted until the end of 2024, while Tonga international Lolohea signed a three-year deal in 2022. 32-year-old Ikahihifo signed a new contract extension in September last year until the end of 2025.
Jack Murchie excited to make Super League move
Murchie has made just five appearances in the 2023 NRL season, predominantly featuring for the club’s New South Wales outfit this year.
He becomes the club’s first official signing ahead of 2024, having also represented Canberra Raiders and New Zealand Warriors Down Under.
“I’m really looking forward to joining the club in 2024 and being able to experience playing in the Super League,” he said.
“I’ve been watching the team and I’m a fan of the style of footy they’ve been playing under Ian Watson.
“I’ve spoken to Ian numerous times and I’m sure that this is the right move for me. He’s a great coach and one that I’m excited to play under and grow my game in Super League.
“The current group seems a great set of lads, and I’m really looking forward to coming over and meeting them all and enjoying my rugby with them.”