The three Super League players from 2023 still off-contract with new season fast approaching

Ben Olawumi
Lee Kershaw

Lee Kershaw in action for London Broncos against Castleford Tigers in pre-season - Alamy

We are now just 12 days away from the start of the 2024 Super League season, and there are still a trio of free agents who were involved in the top flight last year that remain without a club.

That trio was a quartet until yesterday when newly-promoted Championship outfit Doncaster announced the signing of Ilikaya Mafi following a successful pre-season trial.

Mafi was released by Castleford Tigers at the end of the 2023 campaign, with the Tigers opting not to use the one-year extension option to his contract they held in their favour.

Instead, the Oxford-born youngster will now get a chance to impress in the second tier with the Dons, and will hope to make his first-ever senior competitive appearance in the game sooner rather than later.

The three players who remain free agents were all released by the club they played for in 2023 and remain unattached.

Below, we’ve taken a look at the trio, in alphabetical order by surname…

Daniel Hill

Hill joined St Helens from Widnes Vikings ahead of the 2022 campaign on a two-year deal, and made two senior appearances in his first year at the Totally Wicked Stadium, featuring home and away against Castleford.

Dan Hill
Dan Hill carries the ball into a tackle for St Helens against Castleford Tigers in 2022 – Alamy

Saints chief Paul Wellens though didn’t feel the need to call upon the 21-year-old in the season just gone, with the utility back’s only senior appearances coming as a loanee for League 1 outfit North Wales Crusaders and on dual-registration in the Championship with Swinton Lions.

Scoring three tries in five appearances for Carl Forster’s Crusaders, while featuring just the once for Swinton, the nearest Hill came to a run out for the first-team at Saints in 2023 was as an unused 18th man against Warrington Wolves in April.

The youngster was one of 11 to depart the Red V at the end of the campaign with his contract expiring, and no move has been announced since. Notably, Hill is studying a Sports Fitness and Coaching degree with the Open University.

Lee Kershaw

Of the three left on this list, ex-Oldham winger Kershaw has been the most hotly talked about on the back of Wakefield’s relegation.

Lee Kershaw
Lee Kershaw warms up ahead of London Broncos’ pre-season game against Castleford Tigers – Alamy

After Trinity’s fate was sealed, the player himself has openly detailed his desire to remain in Super League for 2024, and was training with Leeds Rhinos at the beginning of pre-season while working in a bar and living with his parents.

The 24-year-old though wasn’t offered a contract by the Headingley outfit and moved on. Back in November, Love Rugby League exclusively revealed interest in Kershaw from newly-promoted London Broncos.

And that interest has rung true, with the winger – who grabbed seven tries for a struggling Wakefield side in 2023 – currently on trial in the capital, as confirmed by the club early last month.

The newly-promoted Broncos are yet to confirm whether Kershaw’s trial has been successful or not, but will have to do so sooner rather than later, with their first game back in Super League coming on February 16 away against St Helens.

Dane Windrow

Rounding the off-contract aces off is another youngster in Windrow, who debuted for Wakefield in their Challenge Cup defeat to eventual winners Leigh Leopards last May, also named as an unused 18th man twice by Trinity in Super League.

Dane Windrow
Dane Windrow warms up ahead of a Wakefield Trinity game in 2023 – Alamy

2023 also saw him feature on loan for both Newcastle Thunder & Swinton in the Championship, featuring four times overall with one try to his name for the North East outfit in a defeat to Sheffield Eagles.

Prior, the 21-year-old had also appeared on loan in both the Championship & League 1 for Dewsbury Rams & Oldham respectively.

Windrow’s next destination is yet to be confirmed.

Other free agents who featured in Super League in 2023

As well as the trio above who were off-contract at the end of 2023 and didn’t have their contracts renewed, there are others who were released for one reason or another, and also remain without a club with under two weeks until the start of the new Super League season.

Alex Gerrard is the most recently released of those, with Salford Red Devils only confirming his departure this morning after omitting him from their 2024 squad numbers released yesterday.

As far as we’re aware, there are a total of four free agents – who were involved in Super League last year – due to release that are still on the open market.

Alex Gerrard
Alex Gerrard in action for Salford Red Devils in 2023 – Alamy

We’ve listed them below with the Super League club that released them in brackets as follows:

Alex Gerrard (Salford Red Devils)

Sam Kasiano (Warrington Wolves)

Ken Sio (Salford Red Devils)

Zane Tetevano (Leeds Rhinos)

Elsewhere, London – who won promotion from the Championship in 2023 – let five players go who are yet to join a new club: Henry Raiwalui, Corey Norman, Max Allen, Euan Parke & Rian Horsman.

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