Patrick Mago and the five biggest impact players in Super League 2024

Drew Darbyshire
Patrick Mago Wigan Warriors Alamy

Wigan Warriors powerhouse Patrick Mago

The stars of the show in Super League are often the headline names, the players in the pivotal spine positions and the ones who are often among the try-scorers.

However, they aren’t always the ones who have the biggest impact on the field – as the early weeks of the new season have shown. It can be the players who come on from the interchange bench that can make a real difference to games and in the first few weeks of 2024, there’s been a clutch of players that definitely fit into that category. Here’s our pick of the best, starting with..

Patrick Mago

Of his 61 appearances for the Cherry and Whites, 60 of them have been from the bench! Mago is the very definition of an impact sub.

The Samoan powerhouse has been in tremendous form since midway through last season. He’s admitted that he’s worked on his diet and training a lot more in pre-season and you can see it’s paying off: he looks the fittest, leanest and fastest he’s been since he arrived at Wigan.

You wouldn’t fancy tackling the big fella one-on-one, would you? He’s a powerful unit who loves to offload the ball. It’s safe to say he’s a firm fan favourite at the DW.

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James Bell

Since arriving at St Helens from Leigh, Bell has gradually increased his importance to the side year upon year: and 2024 looks set to be another continuation of that upward trajectory.

Bell was once again impressive on Friday night in the Saints’ hard-earned victory against Leigh Leopards, and while he has started one of the three games so far this season, his most eye-catching displays have come in his two interchange appearances. The Scotland international has a real knack of making a difference when the game is open, and Friday was no different.

He’s now a crucial cog in the machine under Paul Wellens.

George Delaney

Sticking with St Helens, and sticking with another man who’s getting increasingly important in coming off the bench. George Delaney’s first-team exposure throughout 2023 has stood him in good stead, it seems – with the prop already looking at home at Super League level.

He has come off the bench in all three Super League games so far this season and has continued to make an impact similar to that when he debuted last summer. He is the latest talent to emerge from the Saints’ conveyor belt: and before too long, you get the feeling he’ll be starting games.

Sam Powell

Sam Powell Warrington Wolves Alamy
Sam Powell in action for Warrington

After a disappointing defeat on the opening weekend to Catalans, Sam Burgess’ Warrington are starting to roll in 2024. Back-to-back wins against Hull FC and Castleford have helped shake off a poor start in the south of France – and the form of Sam Powell is certainly helping the Wire.

Powell has helped provide a real spark from the bench at hooker, allowing Danny Walker to take a breather. The former Wigan hooker arrived at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in the off-season a Super League winner after success in last year’s Grand Final: and his early-season form suggests he’ll be a vital tool for the Wire in the coming weeks and months under Burgess.

Sauaso Sue

It may not have been the most blockbuster start to the season for the prop in terms of grabbing the headlines, but Sue’s emergence from the bench inside the opening weeks of the Super League season has been crucial.

He’s consistently given Rovers a lift and allowed the starting props to take a well-earned breather without any fear they may need to be rushed back on. Sue is all-action, provides plenty of physicality and has helped give Willie Peters’ side a real lift from the interchange bench.

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