Opinion: Super League on the rise thanks to marquee signings

Drew Darbyshire

The calibre of overseas players moving to Super League can only be a good thing.

It has been a busy off-season for Super League clubs, with there being plenty of incomings and outgoings.

But what’s most exciting is the amount of world class players coming to Super League.

Before the marquee signing rule was introduced, we were used to second and third-rate players coming over to our game for a paycheck and not actually adding value to the competition.

It has been completely flipped now though. The marquee ruling allows clubs to spend whatever they can afford on bringing a star name to the club.

Look at Leeds Rhinos, who have pulled off major coups in signing Australia international Trent Merrin and Tonga star Konrad Hurrell. The pair will add a lot of power to Super League in 2019.

St Helens have made the fine acquisitions of Lachlan Coote and Kevin Naiqama, who will add flair to Justin Holbrook’s side. They will be entertaining players to watch.

Blake Austin’s arrival at Warrington Wolves is the big one. He is already Betfred’s favourite to pick up the 2019 Steve Prescott Man of Steel award. He is a sensational player.

Even the smaller clubs are making big strides. Huddersfield Giants have brought in Fiji flyer Akuila Uate, who will add pace, fire and aggression to the competition.

Even Hull KR – who were in the Championship not too long ago – have signed NRL Grand Final winner Kane Linnett. The Scotland centre will be a huge player for Rovers.

Clubs are making big signings that aren’t even marquee as well, which is another good thing. Zak Hardaker joining Wigan Warriors is tasty and fans can be assured to see some individual brilliance at the DW Stadium next season.

We can’t forget Jackson Hastings either, who has been an absolute revelation for Super League, alongside Joey Lussick. The former Manly Sea Eagles duo will be vital for Salford Red Devils next term.

Marquee signings are brilliant for Super League, there is no doubt about it.

I know some people will say the signings of marquee players means clubs won’t give chances to younger players, but they will still get their chance on the big stage…

The only difference now is Super League is getting top class talent rather than getting bang average players from the NRL.

With all of the marquee talent, the 2019 Super League season is shaping up to be stronger than ever.