The top 6 under-rated players in Super League: St Helens duo, Castleford Tigers star included

Louis Chapman Coombe

Super League is blessed with some of the best rugby league players in the world. 

Be that the current reigning Man of Steel Bevan French, or the box-office Jack Welsby, there is some serious talent right across the top division.

Whilst these are clearly some of the headline names, there is a large group of players who don’t quite get mentioned in the same conversations, however they are just as pivotal to their team. So with that in mind, here are our selection of the six most underrated players in Super League.

Oli Leyland (London Broncos)

Oli Leyland London Broncos Alamy
Oli Leyland of London Broncos

Things might not be going swimmingly for the newly promoted London Broncos, but emerging star Oli Leyland is proving to be a real bright spark.

The 23-year-old half-back has added some real zip to the Broncos attack, with a strong running game as well as a great kicking game too. He has been London’s principle ball-carrier with 216 carries to his name, and making 808 meters in the process. Leyland has also chipped in with seven try assists.

Sam Wood (Castleford Tigers)

Sam Wood Castleford Tigers
Sam Wood in action for Castleford Tigers in 2024

The Castleford Tigers centre is another player leading the way for his side. Wood arrived from Hull KR in the off-season, and he has since gone onto become one of the key men in Craig Lingard’s team.

Wood is his side’s principle ball carrier in attack, making 1814 meters from 240 carries, however his ability to break tackles is what makes him such a threat on that edge; with 51 tackle bursts to his name. His form at the Jungle was rewarded with an England cap, as he made his debut in their recent win against France.

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James Harrison (Warrington Wolves)

James Harrison Warrington Wolves Alamy

The Warrington Wolves prop has flown under the radar for some time now, however this season he is fully showing his quality. He has featured in all but two of Warrington’s games this season, starting all of those as well, and has notched five tries in the process.

Harrison is a powerful ball carrier, and takes a good chunk of the load for Warrington. So far this season, he has made 1157 meters from just 161 carries. His form also saw him called up to the England squad, where he came off the bench in their 40-8 victory over France.

Ash Golding (Huddersfield Giants)

Ashton Golding Huddersfield Giants Alamy
Ashton Golding in action for Huddersfield Giants – Alamy

Having a utility player is always a massive bonus for any side, and that is exactly what Ash Golding provides Huddersfield Giants. His ability to cover virtually the whole backline, as well as hooker, makes him such a vital aspect of Ian Watson’s team; however when he is given his chance he always provides a huge impact too wherever he plays.

Golding has only made 59 carries so far this season, however 39 of those have come direct from dummy half, which in turn has played a massive role in getting Huddersfield on the front foot. He is also a proper workhorse in defence, making 308 tackles this season.

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Matt Whitley (St Helens)

Matt Whitley
Matt Whitley in action for St Helens

St Helens are blessed with big names in their pack, but one player that underpins everything is new recruit Matt Whitley.

Prior to picking up a shoulder injury, Whitley was consistently good across the park, in particular in their Super League win against Leeds at Headingley, whilst also allowing the likes of Sione Mata’utia and Curtis Sironen to flourish. His value to the St Helens team has also been highlighted during his injury lay-off.

James Bell (St Helens)

James Bell St Helens Alamy

Is James Bell still underrated? The St Helens utility forward is such a consistent player in whatever position he is used in, and he always gets through plenty of work.

In attack, he has made 1272 meters off 211 carries, and also has a great ability to break through tackles too, racking up 40 tackle bursts. Bell also has decent speed too, which makes him a real handful. He is starting to get the credit he deserves.

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