“I think he leaves Headingley” – Huge call on off-contract Leeds star

Josh McAllister
James Bentley, SWPix.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Sky Sports pundit Jon Wilkin believes back-rower James Bentley could be set for an exit from Headingley Stadium at the end of the current season.

Bentley, 25, is without a deal for 2024. Examiner Live recently released the Rugby Football League’s full off-contract list in Super League, with the Ireland international’s future not yet determined.

The back-rower joined his hometown club ahead of 2022 on a two-year deal from St Helens, where he enjoyed four seasons, winning the Grand Finals in 2020 and 2021. 

To date, Bentley has made 24 Super League appearances for the Rhinos, including six in the current season.

His time at Headingley Stadium has been hampered with suspensions, including a huge four-match ban following his debut against Warrington last year.

Speaking ahead of Wakefield’s home clash with Hull live on Sky Sports, Wilkin stated that he believes Bentley could leave the club at the end of the year.

Wilkin shares huge call on James Bentley

The ex-St Helens back-rower said: “I think he signed from St Helens to Leeds in the peak of his powers. He was in expectational form and since he’s gone to Leeds – he’s gone over on top value, we’ve estimated at £125,000. 

“It’s really not gone that well for him. He’s had a number of disciplinary issues and he’s had a few injuries. So maybe his market value is not there.

“But maybe that presents an opportunity for a team. If you want a competitor, and you need an element of grit, resilience and determination in your team, if you need a strong line-running back-rower, I think James Bentley could be a steal for somebody.

“I don’t think he commands the price that he did when he moved from St Helens to Leeds, but there’s certain teams in this competition that would relish having somebody like James Bentley in there.

“Personally, I think he leaves Headingley. I think he could go Huddersfield or Wigan. That gritty sort of culture built on defence, he’s your man.”

READ NEXT: St Helens boss responds to Daryl Clark’s transfer links

FOLLOW: Keep up with all the latest on the Love Rugby League mobile app