Key takeaways from RFL contract list: Wakefield turnover, Hull KR hooking dilemma…

Aaron Bower

Last week, the RFL officially sent details of all off-contract players to clubs – with information about the futures of all 150-plus players able to be fathomed somewhat.

The absence of some players from the list – which was exclusively revealed by Love Rugby League – meant they’ve been offered terms somewhere, some players’ futures are yet to be determined while for a handful, they’ve already been told they will not be required at their current employers into 2025.

As always, it left more questions than answers – here’s some key takeaways we learned…

Hull KR are shopping for a hooker

Willie Peters
Hull KR head coach Willie Peters

It’s fair to say that the decision to let Matt Parcell move on wasn’t a massive surprise for Hull KR supporters. With Jez Litten their number one hooker without question, Parcell’s future always seemed limited, and reports have suggested he’ll return to Australia.

But Reiss Butterworth’s release was perhaps more of a surprise, and it means that with only Litten on their books, it’s clear what Rovers need to do business-wise between now and the end of the season. They’re in the market for a hooker without question.

READ NEXT: List of Super League players not offered deals revealed including Wigan Warriors, Hull KR stars

Mike Cooper will command huge interest

Mike Cooper Wigan Warriors Alamy

Perhaps the biggest story of all on the off-contract list – at least in terms of surprise factor – was Mike Cooper.

Cooper certainly hasn’t looked out of place in a Wigan squad that have won both the Super League title and the World Club Challenge in the past year, but it seems he’ll be heading for pastures new in 2025. Cooper turns 36 later this year – but you would surely think he has at least one more season in him. He won’t be short of suitors.

Leigh are going to have a big turnover

Adrian Lam
Leigh Leopards head coach Adrian Lam

One of the most notable and standout points of the list was the rather more cut-throat approach Leigh Leopards took. They have told five players that they won’t be getting new deals in 2025 – with Ricky Leutele among them.

Ed Chamberlain, Jacob Gannon, Jack Darbyshire and Jacob Jones are on there too. Love Rugby League has been told Leigh haven’t written off keeping Leutele yet but with players like Oliver Holmes and Zak Hardaker also definitely leaving, it means there’s going to be a big winter in terms of player turnover at the Leigh Sports Village.

Expect the Leopards to go big – and refresh their squad with a younger look for next season.

READ NEXT: The list of Super League players who have either re-signed or signed elsewhere for 2025

The Senior twins will be at Castleford in 2025

Innes Senior Castleford Tigers Alamy

There is already a growing expectation that both Innes and Louis Senior will be Castleford players together beyond this season – and that feeling only heightened further last week.

With confirmation that Hull KR wouldn’t be offering Louis a deal, and Innes off-contract at Huddersfield at the end of this year, you would suspect Castleford would be weighing up a move for both.

READ NEXT: Every Super League club’s full update on out-of-contract players

Wakefield could have plenty of cap to play with

Wakefield Trinity
Wakefield Trinity celebrate a try in 2024

While all 12 Super League clubs declared their stance on their off-contract players, so too did Championship leaders Wakefield Trinity who, as a full-time outfit, were also obliged to do so.

There was plenty to learn about Trinity’s plans. Only two off-contract players – Luke Gale and Thomas Doyle – were absent, with the rest of the players in that bracket listed as not yet determined. It means Daryl Powell and his team have some big calls to make in the second half of this season.

If, as expected, Wakefield are a Super League side in 2025, they could well end up with some significant cap space if they let players like Matty Ashurst and Jermaine McGillvary leave. It means an already lengthy shopping list for Trinity could get even bigger, and they may get even more active in the market.

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