The 14 current Super League players with African heritage: including Wigan Warriors duo

Aaron Bower

Rugby league’s presence is growing worldwide – not least in the continent of Africa.

There are more Super League players than ever before who either hail directly from an African country or have African heritage in their family. Some have represented those countries at international level, others are yet to do so – but may do in the years ahead.

Here’s the full list of the current Super League stars with African heritage..

Junior Nsemba (Cameroon)

The 19-year-old had arguably his most impressive performance in his fledgling Wigan Warriors career so far on Thursday night, crossing for a try as Matt Peet’s side ran out comfortable winners against local rivals Leigh Leopards.

Nsemba is of Cameroonian heritage, as both his parents are from the African country, emigrating to England before Nsemba was born. He has already spoken proudly about his desire to hopefully one day represent Cameroon at international level, with the country making encouraging steps there to develop a national side.

Hakim Miloudi (Algeria)

London Broncos utility Miloudi has represented France on five separate occasions as a rugby league player – but he has also represented his African heritage during his time playing rugby union.

Miloudi is of Algerian heritage through both his parents and last summer, he represented the country in a Sevens tournament in Mauritius, which Algeria won, securing qualification for this year’s Olympics in Paris.

He told Love Rugby League last year he hoped to represent the African country at the Olympics: but his London Broncos obligations may put a stop to that!

RELATEDHakim Miloudi on Olympics qualification quest with Algeria and potential England return

Muizz Mustapha (Nigeria)

There are a number of players across Super League of Nigerian heritage – with Hull FC’s Jayden Okunbor another example. But one player actually born in the African country was Castleford forward Muizz Mustapha.

He moved to England at the age of five but is yet to make his debut for the national side and he told Love Rugby League last year: “It’s a big nation and there’s loads of talent there that could do well in rugby league.”

Kruise Leeming (Eswatini)

Kruise Leeming Wigan Warriors Alamy

Leeming is one of the biggest names in Super League – and he has spoken frequently about his proud African heritage.

The Wigan hooker was born in the country formerly known as Swaziland, now known as Eswatini, and it was that heritage which led to him representing the All Stars in 2021.

Moses Mbye (The Gambia)

St Helens utility Mbye was one of a handful of players in the NRL to be of African descent, and he is in a similar club in Super League. He has Gambian heritage through his father.

Elliot Wallis (Nigeria)

Wallis, now with Huddersfield Giants, was part of rugby league history in 2019 when he was included in the first-ever squad named to represent Nigeria at international level.

Wallis, a graduate of the Hull KR academy, qualifies for Nigeria through his grandfather Joseph, who was born in the Nigerian capital of Lagos.

RELATED: Elliot Wallis: Nations like Nigeria can develop in the game, just look at Papua New Guinea

Justin Sangare (Mali)

Leeds prop Sangare was born in the African country of Mali, but moved to France with his family when he was a baby. He discovered rugby league from a young age, while growing up in Toulouse.

Jayden Okunbor (Nigeria)

The Hull FC man’s father was born in Nigeria before moving to Australia prior to Okunbor’s birth. He cited Hull’s relationship with Nigerian rugby league as a big reason in him joining the club.

Sam Eseh (Cameroon)

Like his Wigan Warriors team-mate, Eseh – an off-season recruit from Wakefield Trinity – has Cameroonian heritage. He and Nsemba spoke to Love Rugby League ahead of this season about their unique bond with the Central African country.

RELATED: Meet the Cameroonian ‘brothers’ helping put ancestral homeland on rugby league map

Samy Kibula (DR Congo)

The Castleford Tigers prop was born in Kinshasa but moved to England at the age of just two, eventually settling in Wigan. He emerged through the Warriors’ academy before later spells at Warrington Wolves and Bradford Bulls.

Sadiq Adebiyi (Nigeria)

Another who, like Mustapha, hails from the Nigerian capital of Lagos. London forward Adebiyi made two appearances for Nigeria in 2019, scoring three tries.

Fouad Yaha (Morocco)

Fouad Yaha, SWPix
Picture by Rémi Vignaud/Catalans Dragons/

One of Super League’s longest-serving French players, Yaha was born in France and has represented them at international level on several occasions – and he is of Moroccan descent.

Ben Garcia (Algeria)

The Catalans captain is one of the most consistent players in the game – and he is not only of French and Algerian descent, but Spanish, too.

Gideon Boafo (Ghana)

The London Broncos winger was born in Croydon and is of Ghanian heritage.

Amir Bourouh (Algeria)

Born in Huddersfield, brought up in Halifax and formed in the Wigan Warriors academy: but Salford Red Devils hooker Amir Bourouh is of Algerian and French heritage through his father.

Daniel Okoro (Nigeria)

The promising prop has joined Warrington Wolves on a deal until the end of the 2027 season from Championship side Bradford Bulls. Okoro, who came through the academy ranks at Hull KR, has already won two caps for Nigeria on the international stage.

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