Six of the strangest signings ahead of 2019
It has been a pretty busy off-season in terms of transfers, so we have decided to round-up six of the oddest moves.
Jarrod Sammut (London Broncos – Wigan Warriors)
This is the strangest transfer of the off-season to date.
Until Sammut made a tweet asking for a Wigan dictionary a few days before his announcement, not many would have expected the London Broncos playmaker to move to Wigan Warriors.
The move is a strange because a lot of people just expected that Sammut would go part-time at a Championship or League 1 club, due to him leaving full-time London for family reasons. The Malta international is a true maverick of the game and he could potentially provide a spark in Wigan’s attack.
Danny Langtree (Oldham – Hull FC)
The 27-year-old has been one of the back-rowers in the lower tiers for a number of years now.
But his transfer from Oldham to Hull shocked fans of the Black and Whites. When the club’s owner Adam Pearson said there will be a big change at the KCOM Stadium next season, many expected a marquee signing to be made but they have looked to the lower leagues instead, with them also signing Matty Dawson-Jones from Leigh Centurions.
Langtree will probably start the season low down in Lee Radford’s pecking order, but the move could go one or two ways. He could excel and establish himself as a Super League regular or be back at the Roughyeds the following year.
Tom Spencer (London Broncos – Leigh Centurions)
Spencer is in the same category as Langtree. He has been one of the most impressive front-rowers in the Championship over the last couple of seasons.
With London being in Super League next season, it’s a surprise that they didn’t keep hold of him. The 27-year-old played 36 during his time in the capital and he is the traditional front-rower, who has a no-nonsense style approach to the game.
He has more than proved himself at Championship level but will ply his trade with Leigh Centurions next year. He made 80 appearances for the Centurions between 2013 and 2016. Spencer is a fantastic acquisition for Leigh, but a surprise for him not to be giving Super League a crack nonetheless.
Lama Tasi (Salford Red Devils – Warrington Wolves)
Warrington picking up Lama Tasi from Salford is peculiar move.
The 28-year-old has enjoyed two spells at the Red Devils, playing over 100 games, but he struggled for selection under Ian Watson towards the back end of last season. It’s a surprise that Warrington, who reached the Challenge Cup final and Super League Grand Finals last season, brought him to the club.
Tasi is a solid front-rower on his day though. He boasts a big frame and if he can find consistent form at the Wolves then there is no reason why he can’t achieve success there. He has been given the number 16 jersey at the Wolves next year so if squad numbers are anything to go by, he could be used as a regular.
Anthony Gelling (New Zealand Warriors – Widnes Vikings)
When it was announced that Gelling would join Widnes on a two-year deal back in July, people were surprised but expected the move to go ahead.
But because of everything that has gone on since then – with him reportedly training with Catalans Dragons and apparent visa issues – the majority didn’t expect him to be at the Vikings in 2019, until he recently reiterated his commitment to the club.
The Cook Islands international is a major coup for the Vikings, who suffered relegation from Super League last season. He is surely up there with the favourites for Championship Player of the Year already.
Matt Whitley (Widnes Vikings – Catalans Dragons)
When it was confirmed that Widnes were relegated from the top-flight, everyone expected Whitley to leave the club because he is very much a Super League standard player.
But when he was being linked with various clubs, Catalans weren’t one until just a few days before they announced his signature.
The England Knights representative is a fine back-rower, with plenty of improvement still left in him at just 22. He already has over 100 first-team games under his belt and has a bright future ahead of him. The move was still a strange one though, probably because everyone was expecting him to move to an English side.