Super League clubs confirmed to be in player market before transfer deadline; Oliver Gildart, Thomas Mikaele linked

Josh McAllister

Oliver Gildart and Thomas Mikaele have been linked with returns to Super League.

There are still a handful of Super League clubs that are known to be in the player market before next week’s transfer deadline. 

Three known clubs are looking to bolster their squads ahead of next Friday’s deadline, August 4.

Daryl Powell has made no secret of his desire of landing new Warrington Wolves recruits in the pack. The Halliwell Jones Stadium outfit lost both Thomas Mikaele and Josh McGuire during the season.

Australian McGuire, 33, was axed after his second lengthy suspension for unacceptable language in his debut Super League season, making just seven appearances for the Wire.

But forward Mikaele, who was granted an early release from his contract on compassionate grounds to return to Australia, has been linked with a loan move back to England.

Mikaele, 25, made 18 appearances for the Wolves having originally joined the club in 2022, and was enjoying fine form this year upon his release.

He returned Down Under and signed with Gold Coast Titans, with Warrington Guardian reporter Matt Turner recently confirming that Powell is eyeing up a return for the New Zealand-born prop.

The Warrington head coach told Warrington Guardian: “It’s something we’ve been talking about behind the scenes for a few months.

“I don’t know where it’s at, but it would be pretty good to have him back.

“I can’t give you any real information on it, but we know Tommy and he knows us.

“It would be a perfect fit but whether it actually happens or not, I couldn’t give you any information on it.”

Mikaele has made just one appearance back in the NRL.

St George Illawarra Dragons forward Zane Musgrove, who has been told he is free to negotiate with clubs for 2024, was also linked with Warrington, later rubbished by the club.

Leigh and Castleford in the market

Yorkshire Live have recently reported that Leigh Leopards have launched a shock move for Oliver Gildart for the rest of the season.

The England international has not featured for Dolphins in the NRL this year, and will link up with Hull KR next season on a three-year deal.

Adrian Lam recently confirmed a season-ending injury to star centre Ricky Leutele, and have since quickly moved for his replacement in what could see the ex-Wigan Warriors man join the Leigh Sports Village outfit.

Head coach Lam made several mid-season signings in their Championship campaign last season, including ex-Australia international Blake Ferguson, and has made no secret of his ongoing recruitment process again this year.

Journalist Matt Shaw broke the news of Leigh’s move for Gildart on Friday. The centre has found game time tough Down Under since his initial move with Wests Tigers for 2022, with just 10 appearances in the competition, including two for Sydney Roosters.

Castleford Tigers open up quota spot

Castleford Tigers opened up one more quota spot this week following the loan move for Albert Vete to League 1 side Doncaster.

Andy Last hasn’t ruled out any potential new signings before the deadline, having recently added internationals Charbel Tasipale, Liam Horne, Billy Tsikrikas, as well as the return of Alex Foster.

Cook Islands centre Kayal Iro has been linked with a move to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle, with outside-backs Mahe Fonua and Bureta Faraimo having both departed Castleford this week.

“With a week to go, there still might be a little bit of movement,” Last said.

“I think every team is the same, if something comes up and you can make something happen, then we’ll try to make it happen.

“If it improves your team and the competition in your squad then you’ll do the best you can to try and make that happen. We’re the same as everybody else.

“I think we’re always looking, I think every team is the same.”