The NRL players who have been – and could still be – on Super League’s radar

Aaron Bower
Peter Hola, David Armstrong, Ben Condon NRL Super League Alamy

Peter Hola (left), David Armstrong (centre) and Ben Condon (right) in NRL action

The NRL season gets underway this weekend in some style, with a huge double-header in Las Vegas kick-starting not only the 2024 campaign, but arguably a brand new era for rugby league in the United States.

Some of the competition’s biggest clubs will take to the field in Vegas this weekend and Super League will be watching on with interest – not least because officials from this side of the world are bound for the event to hold talks about where the British game could fit into the NRL’s plans to conquer the US.

But recruitment-wise, the early weeks of the NRL season always bring with it an opportunity for Super League clubs to monitor players who aren’t in favour, and who may find opportunities hard to come by in Australia. That potentially opens the door for a move to this side of the world – and even in the off-season, there have been players who have come close to switching to Super League.

David Armstrong

One of those deals could quite clearly still happen – with Newcastle Knights outside back David Armstrong of interest to Leigh Leopards. That move has gone quiet of late, but it is largely down to the fact Leigh have no room on their overseas quota to facilitate an arrangement for Armstrong’s signature.

As Love Rugby League explained earlier this month, the most likely quota player to move on would be prop Ben Nakubuwai: but he started on the bench for Leigh in their opening game of the season, suggesting he is in Adrian Lam’s plans for now. It means that any move for Armstrong has gone cold, but the player is still keen to make the move to Super League.

RELATED: Analysing Leigh Leopards’ quota situation as they weigh up David Armstrong signing

Peter Hola

Peter Hola North Queensland Cowboys Alamy

Perhaps the most notable name in this group is Canberra Raiders forward Peter Hola. The 24-year-old has frequently been linked with a move to Super League in recent months, and reports have suggested he has turned down moves to two different top-flight teams over the winter.

Hola is set to try his chance at a permanent run in and around Canberra’s squad in 2024 in favour of a move to England, where game-time would be more of a guarantee. But if that doesn’t happen in the early stages of the new campaign, expect his name to figure on the lips of many once again.

Ben Condon

Another player who Love Rugby League understands came close to a move to England in the off-season was prop Ben Condon. The Manly Sea Eagles forward was one of several players who, at the age of 23, would benefit from the loosening of rules surrounding securing visas for quota players, making the prospect of a move much easier.

Condon had interest from the likes of London and Salford but once again, like with Hola, chose to remain in the NRL for the early stages of this year at least to try and make an impact. He has been included in Manly’s top 30 for this year after making four appearances in 2023.

Ky Rodwell

Reports are already emerging that Parramatta forward Ky Rodwell has secured a move to England next year, with Rugby League Live suggesting he has signed for Wakefield Trinity. That move is believed to be dependent on whether or not Trinity are playing in Super League but clearly, all the signs point to them being re-admitted into the top-flight by IMG for 2025.

Rodwell was another who came close to a move this off-season and with his future beyond this year secure, he is unlikely to be one player who makes the move mid-season, instead more likely trying to force his way into the Eels’ picture after being included in the top 30 there.

Of course, the other situation to consider is quota space for all clubs. Only London Broncos and Warrington Wolves have space open on their overseas quota as things stand – though in the Championship, the situation is much more fluid. The likes of Wakefield Trinity, Bradford Bulls and Featherstone Rovers are all active in the market if the right player becomes available and with no limit on the amount of overseas players second-tier clubs can sign, it makes it possible they could end up there, too.

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