As the Tri Nations swings in to action, our new column Squadwatch takes a look at the latest wheelings and dealings in Super League and the National Leagues. Squadwatch will be online every Friday and will round up all the signings of the previous week, keeping you up to date with the latest moves up and down the leagues.
The biggest deal of the week saw Kiwi second rower David Solomona move from Wakefield to Bradford for 200k. Wakefield had previously reported Bradford to the RFL for making an illegal approach for their star player, who played a pivotal part in their fight for survival last season. But after Solomona handed in a transfer request, Bradford moved quickly to secure his services.
Warrington continued their recruitment for next season with the signing of Vinnie Anderson from Super League champions St Helens for a reported 50k, whilst also renewing the contracts of ex-Bradford prop Rob Parker, Chris Leikvoll, Mike Wainwright, Andy Bracek and Steve Pickersgill.
Otherwise in Super League, it was a quiet week for transfer activity. But relegated Castleford swooped to secure the signings of Dwayne Barker and Mark Leafa, both proven players at NL1 level. Their National League squad was further bolstered by the announcement that centre Ryan McGoldrick has extended his stay at The Jungle, despite their exit from Super League. He follows centre Michael Shenton and prop Craig Huby in committing his future to the club.
Castleford’s National League rivals Widnes have re-signed record point scoring centre Mick Nanyn, who broke the club record for most points in a season last year as the Vikings lost out to Hull KR at the final hurdle, and Gavin Dodd. They have also swooped for former Hull KR and Celtic Crusaders prop forward Gareth Price.
Following a rough couple of weeks, Leigh Centurions returned to some normality with the signing of Salford winger Anthony Stewart, who spent the latter stages of 2006 with Harlequins. The Centurions have lost Dean Gaskell, Scott Grix (both Widnes), Danny Halliwell (Salford) and Lee Greenwood (Halifax) from their back line in recent weeks.
Ambitious Doncaster Lakers announced the signing of six players, including Harlequins duo Joe Mbu and Rikki Sheriffe. Peter Green and Dean Colton have both re-signed contracts, while Adam Scott (Hull) and James Endersby (Leeds) have joined from their respective academies.
Halifax, continuing to recover from the financial difficulties that nearly saw them fold at the end of last season, completed the signing of Widnes scrum half Ian Watson, who rejected a new contract at the Halton Stadium due to work commitments, and prop forward Danny Heaton, who’s season at Widnes was ended prematurely through injury.
With Great Britain starting their Tri Nations campaign against New Zealand this weekend, England and France in action in the Federation Shield, and Scotland, Ireland and Wales all involved in World Cup qualifiers, there will no doubt be a lull in transfer activity whilst international commitments take priority.