Jack Brown, Yusuf Aydin and 13 famous Super League swap deals from over the years

Ben Olawumi
Paul Newlove, Zak Hardaker, Danny Brough, Robbie Mulhern

Top left: Paul Newlove playing for St Helens, Top right: Zak Hardaker playing for Penrith Panthers, Bottom left: Danny Brough playing for Wakefield Trinity, Bottom right: Robbie Mulhern playing for Warrington Wolves

The swap deal between Hull FC and Hull KR pairing Jack Brown and Yusuf Aydin certainly got our cogs ticking on other moves like it.

Swap deals have become more prevalent over the last few years across the sport in particular, but have always been a possibility.

And after the recent trade between the two Hull clubs, we’ve had a look at 13 other swap deals to have involved a player from at least one Super League club over the years…

Corey Hall & Louis Senior for Jack Broadbent – 2024

Corey Hall, Louis Senior, Jack Broadbent
From left to right: Corey Hall, Louis Senior & Jack Broadbent

The biggest news last month was Broadbent’s arrival at KR. He had already agreed a three-year deal with them from 2025 onwards, but will now spend the remainder of 2024 with them as a loanee.

In return, Cas were permitted to extend the loan of Senior until the end of the current campaign, and have also picked up youngster Hall until the end of 2024.

Elliot Wallis for Innes Senior – 2024

Ahead of this season, Castleford Tigers and Huddersfield agreed a swap deal involving two wingers. Wallis penned a four-year deal with the Giants and has scored three tries in five appearances so far. Senior’s move to Cas meanwhile was on a season-long loan basis, though his contract at Huddersfield is up come the end of this year.

Corey Hall for Will Dagger – 2023

21-year-old Hall is no stranger to a swap deal having arrived at KR as part of one only last year. He made the move to Craven Park from then-Super League side Wakefield Trinity as Will Dagger went the other way on a permanent basis. Having left Wakefield at the end of last year, Dagger is now in the Championship with York.

Sam Halsall & Jack Bibby for Jake Wardle – 2023

Sam Halsall, Jack Bibby, Jake Wardle
From left to right: Sam Halsall, Jack Bibby (picture credit: Huddersfield Giants) & Jake Wardle

Huddersfield allowed Wardle to join Wigan Warriors ahead of the start of last season in return for two of the Cherry & Whites’ young talents – Halsall and Bibby. Wardle went on to be crowned the Harry Sunderland Trophy winner with a man of the match showing in Wigan’s Grand Final win, while Halsall has just signed a new long-term deal with the Giants.

Toby King for Jake Wardle – 2022

King and Wardle ended up as team-mates at Wigan in 2023, but the year before, they were involved in a swap deal which lasted just a few months. King joined Huddersfield from Warrington with Wardle going the other way in June 2022 for the remainder of the season. Wardle grabbed six tries in 11 games for the Wolves, while King scored two in 12 outings for the Giants.

Robbie Mulhern for Luis Johnson – 2020

December 2020 saw powerhouse Mulhern bring an end to a four-year stint with Hull KR as he secured an early release from his contract to join Warrington. As part of the deal, Johnson joined the Robins, who he’d previously had a loan spell with. Mulhern left the Wolves for Leigh ahead of last season, while Johnson departed KR at the end of 2023 and joined Castleford.

Pauli Pauli for Junior Sa’u – 2019

Junior Sa'u, Pauli Pauli
Junior Sa’u (left) & Pauli Pauli (right)

In May 2019, Wakefield & Salford agreed terms on a deal which saw two players change allegiances for the duration of a single month. Centre Sa’u featured just three times for Trinity, and is still playing now with Keighley Cougars. Pauli Pauli meanwhile enjoyed his stint at Salford that much that he joined them permanently eventually. He’s with Championship outfit Doncaster now.

Danny Brough for Scott Grix – 2018

November 2018 saw Brough join Wakefield, with Grix going the opposite way to Huddersfield. Both made returns to clubs they’d already donned a shirt for, with Grix managing just four appearances for the Giants in 2019 before moving on to end his career with Halifax Panthers. Brough meanwhile spent two years with Trinity before ending his career at Bradford in 2021.

Joe Greenwood for Zeb Taia – 2017

Having played a single game at the start of 2017 for St Helens, Greenwood secured a move to the NRL with the Gold Coast Titans. Saints got New Zealand & Cook Islands international Taia on a deal until the end of 2019 in return. Greenwood played 22 games Down Under before returning to Super League while Taia retired after the Red V’s 2020 Grand Final triumph against Wigan.

Zak Hardaker for James Segeyaro – 2016

Zak Hardaker, James Segeyaro
Zak Hardaker (left) & James Segeyaro (right)

When Hardaker wanted out of Leeds Rhinos and requested a move to the NRL, his next destination would be Down Under at Penrith Panthers. They took him on loan for the remainder of the season in June 2016, and in return, the Rhinos snapped up Panthers ace Segeyaro on a two-year deal. Neither would break any pots before returning to their original countries.

Paul McShane for Scott Moore – 2015

He’s a club legend now, but McShane arrived at the Jungle and first joined a Castleford shirt towards the end of the 2015 season after a swap deal. The hooker joined Cas on a three-year deal from Wakefield, with Moore heading the other way on loan. Moore eventually got himself a permanent deal at Belle Vue, but departed at the end of 2016 for Bradford.

Ryan Boyle for Jake Emmitt – 2013

Midway through the 2013 campaign, Salford – then City Reds – acquired Jake Emmitt from Castleford with forward Ryan Boyle going the other way. Both players penned contracts at their new clubs running until the end of the 2014 campaign, but Emmitt had joined Leigh – then Centurions – by the time 2014 came around. Both retired in 2021.

Micky Higham for Terry Newton – 2005

Micky Higham, Terry Newton
Micky Higham (left) & Terry Newton (right)

One for the ‘only in rugby league’ list involving two hookers and three clubs. St Helens would not sell Higham directly to rivals Wigan, so Bradford – who wanted Wigan’s Newton – purchased Higham for a sum of circa £70,000 at the end of the 2005 season. Almost immediately, they then agreed a swap deal with Wigan, and Higham departed Odsal without playing a single minute.

Sonny Nickle, Paul Loughlin & Bernard Dwyer for Paul Newlove – 1995

At the very top of the discussions around the most famous swap deals in rugby league history is the one from 1995 which saw Newlove join St Helens from Bradford, who then had the ‘Northern’ tagline rather than ‘Bulls’. Saints not only gave Bradford £250,000 for his services, but also no less than three players – Nickle, Dwyer and Loughlin.