The 10 oldest Super League players in 2024: Hall 3rd, Ratchford 6th, Houghton 9th

Drew Darbyshire
Danny Houghton, Stefan Ratchford, Ryan Hall Super League Alamy

Danny Houghton, Stefan Ratchford and Ryan Hall - Alamy

Salford prop Adam Sidlow is the oldest player in Super League following the retirements of James Roby, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Chris McQueen.

Sidlow will enter his 19th season as a professional rugby league player in 2024, and his seventh season in total with the Red Devils.

He is joined at the top of the list by fellow 36-year-olds Chris Hill, Ryan Hall and Michael McIlorum, with Sidlow being older than the aforementioned trio by a couple of months.

Former Hull KR favourite Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Castleford prop Suaia Matagi were in last year’s top 10 – but Kiwi icon Kenny-Dowall has since retired and former New Zealand and Samoa international Matagi joined Championship club Doncaster.

Veterans of the game: The 10 oldest players in Super League in 2024

10. Kevin Naiqama – 34 (04/02/1989)

Kevin Naiqama Huddersfield Giants Alamy

Naiqama has proven himself in both hemispheres, with almost 250 career appearances to his name in the NRL and Super League as well as international.

The Fiji icon, who has played in the last three World Cups, will enter his second season with Huddersfield in 2024, wearing the No. 4 shirt for Ian Watson’s side.

Naiqama, who turns 35 in February, won three Super League titles with St Helens in his three seasons in the Red V between 2019 and 2021, also winning a Challenge Cup.

In addition to this list of 10, there are also three more players who are in the 34 club alongside Naiqama – Castleford duo Paul McShane (19/11/1989) and Joe Westerman (15/11/1989) and Wigan forward Willie Isa (01/01/1989).

9. Danny Houghton – 35 (25/09/1988)

Danny Houghton Hull FC Alamy
Hull FC captain Danny Houghton - Alamy

Houghton has spent his entire career with boyhood club Hull, scoring 55 tries in 436 appearances for the Airlie Birds to date.

The 35-year-old, who won back-to-back Challenge Cups with FC in 2016 and 2017, has just been re-appointed club captain by head coach Tony Smith for 2024.

Houghton, a former Man of Steel, will enter his 18th season with Hull this year.

8. Mike Cooper – 35 (15/09/1988)

Mike Cooper Wigan Warriors Alamy

Cooper penned a new one-year deal with Wigan in the off-season, taking him into season number three with the Warriors.

The England international made 272 appearances for hometown club Warrington over two spells, winning two Challenge Cups, as well as enjoying three seasons in the NRL with St George Illawarra Dragons between 2014 and 2016, playing 69 games for the Australian outfit.

Cooper made the switch to Wigan in 2022, and has made 15 appearances for Matt Peet’s side to date.

7. Manu Ma’u – 35 (24/08/1988)

Manu Ma'u Catalans Dragons Alamy

The former New Zealand and Tonga international has entered the second year of his two-year deal with Catalans, having made 19 appearances for Steve McNamara’s side in his debut campaign.

Ma’u has played almost 200 career games for Parramatta Eels, Hull FC and Catalans.

The 35-year-old back-rower represented birth nation New Zealand in the 2016 Four Nations before switching allegiance to Tonga the following year for the World Cup.

6. Stefan Ratchford – 35 (19/07/1988)

Stefan Ratchford Warrington Wolves Alamy

Ratchford will enter his 13th season with Warrington this year, with the former England international having arrived at the Halliwell Jones Stadium back in 2012.

Before his move to the Wire, Ratchford spent five seasons at Salford, making 108 appearance for the then City Reds.

The 35-year-old, a two-time Challenge Cup winner with the Wolves, has scored 1,800 points in 447 career appearances so far.

5. Leroy Cudjoe  – 35 (07/04/1988)

Leroy Cudjoe Huddersfield Giants Alamy

Cudjoe is a Huddersfield legend, having scored 133 tries in 358 appearances for his hometown club since 2008.

The 35-year-old centre won 10 caps for England between 2010 and 2013, representing his country in the 2013 World Cup.

Cudjoe, who was named in the 2013 Super League Dream Team, will enter his 16th season as a professional with the Giants in 2024.

4. Michael McIlorum – 36 (10/01/1988)

Michael McIlorum Catalans Dragons Alamy
Michael McIlorum in action for Catalans Dragons in 2023 - Alamy

McIlorum, who has recently turned 36, is likely to join the 400 club in 2024, with the veteran hooker currently on 394 career appearances.

The Leeds-born hooker played 242 games for Wigan during his 11 seasons at the DW Stadium, helping the Warriors win two Super League titles as well as two Challenge Cups.

McIlorum made history with Catalans during his debut season in 2018, helping the Dragons win their first piece of major silverware as they lifted the Challenge Cup at Wembley.

McIlorum has played in four World Cups – two for Ireland and two for England.

3. Ryan Hall – 36 (27/11/1987)

Ryan Hall Hull KR Alamy

Hall is one of the best wingers to have played in the modern era, having won six Super League titles during his time with Leeds as well as two Challenge Cups and two World Club Challenge titles.

The 36-year-old winger spent two seasons in the NRL with Sydney Roosters between 2019 and 2020 before returning to Super League with Hull KR.

Hall has won 42 international caps for Great Britain and England, representing his country in the last three World Cups.

2. Chris Hill – 36 (03/11/1987)

Chris Hill Huddersfield Giants Alamy

Hill made his Super League debut for Leigh back in 2005, but would then spend six seasons in the Championship after the then Centurions suffered relegation.

The powerful front-rower got another crack at Super League with Warrington in 2012, where he could go on to spend a decade, making 297 appearances for the Wolves.

Now Huddersfield prop Hill, who has won 41 caps for Great Britain and England, has played in the last three World Cup tournaments.

A two-time Challenge Cup winner with Warrington, Hill has been named in the Super League Dream Team on three occasions.

1. Adam Sidlow – 36 (25/10/1987)

Adam Sidlow Salford Red Devils Alamy

Sidlow will be the oldest player in Super League in 2024, with more than 350 career appearances under his belt.

The explosive prop, who will turn 37 in October, has played for Widnes, Workington, Bradford, Toronto, Leigh and Salford throughout his career.

2024 will mark Sidlow’s 19th season as a professional rugby league player in what has been a successful and durable career.

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