We have picked our top 13 Super League signings for the new season.
Lachlan Coote (St Helens)
The Australian full-back has some serious boots to fill when he takes to the field for the Saints in 2019.
His full-back predecessor Barba has gone the other way to Coote’s former employers, North Queensland Cowboys – but who will have the better of the deal?
Coote was instrumental in the Cowboys’ 2015 Grand Final winning exploits but since has struggled with some injuries that has stifled his progress. There’s no doubting his quality and if fit, will surely light up Super League in the red ‘V’.
Zak Hardaker (Wigan Warriors)
Much has been said in the press about the former Leeds and Castleford full-back, with headline after headline catching peoples attention for all the wrong reasons.
However, if talking strictly about rugby league prowess and quality – Hardaker is up there with some of the best we have seen.
The 2015 Man of Steel has plenty of potential and it is now up to him to achieve it – if he does, Wigan have quite the player within their ranks for 2019.
Sam Tomkins (Catalans Dragons)
It will be strange to see Sam Tomkins wearing a red ‘V’ in 2019 – something that you’d never have believed had it been said this time last year!
Of course, the red ‘V’ in 2019 isn’t exclusively a St Helens feature, as the Catalans Dragons displayed when releasing their home jersey . One thing is for sure, the Dragons have quite the player on their hands.
Tomkins helped his hometown club to yet another Grand Final triumph in 2018 and is hungry to win more trophies with his new employers. He will prove to be a quality signing for the Challenge Cup champions.
Kevin Naiqama (St Helens)
The Fiji captain comes to St Helens off the back of a solid NRL campaign with West Tigers, and is hoping to hit the ground running in 2019.
With the recent departure of Ryan Morgan to London Broncos on loan, it is fair to predict Naiqama will feature in the centres for the 2018 League Leaders – which will add power and precision to the flanks for Holbrook’s side.
One thing is certain, if Naiqama can bring the determination and passion that he so often displayed captaining his country, Fiji – he will surely be a fine addition to Super League in 2019.
Kane Linnett (Hull KR)
The former North Queensland Cowboy surprised many when it was announced his Super League destination would be Hull Kingston Rovers.
However, Linnett is as ambitious as they come and wants to win silverware with the Robins!
He only featured 12 times for the Cowboys in 2018 but at 29 years of age – still has plenty to provide. Not to mention his 57 NRL tries and 2015 NRL Premiership title under his belt. Hull KR have a brilliant player on their hands, that’s for sure.
Danny Brough (Wakefield Trinity)
The former Huddersfield man is seeking pastures new at what will now be his new home – Wakefield Trinity. Despite being 35 , that didn’t stop the half-back making 26 appearances in 2018.
The 2013 Man of Steel has been one of the brightest sparks within the Giants lineup in recent seasons and will certainly be missed at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Wakefield finished 5th last year and are proof of how smart business can lead to success. 2019 certainly has the potential to be a big year for Brough and his new side!
Konrad Hurrell (Leeds Rhinos)
The former New Zealand Warrior and Gold Coast Titan surprised many when it was announced that Leeds Rhinos would be his 2019 destination.
The old stereotype of ‘past-it’ NRL players using the Super League as a retirement package was certainly blown out of the water with this signing – Hurrell being only 27 and arguably at his peak!
He has recorded 116 NRL games so far in his career and has scored 55 tries – he is tipped to play in the centres and will deliver devastating power down the flanks for the Rhinos.
Blake Austin (Warrington Wolves)
The Portugal international played his rugby in the NRL last season and joins a whole host of big name signings transitioning from Australia to England.
Austin will add an added dimension to the Wolves attacking lines – something that they arguably lacked with Tyrone Roberts last year.
With over 120 NRL appearances and 43 tries, I’m sure he will prove to be a quality addition to the Super League. Will he be able to make it Warrington’s year?
Trent Merrin (Leeds Rhinos)
Merrin is another smart signing made by the Leeds Rhinos, in what they hope will be a massively different season to 2018.
The Australian forward is equipped to handle multiple positions, should David Furner require it, and will be a force to be reckoned with in 2019.
At 29 years of age, it is fair to say he still has plenty of rugby left to play and the best of it could be for the Rhinos in 2019.
Jason Clark (Warrington Wolves)
Warrington Wolves, much like Leeds Rhinos and St Helens, have nailed their sails to the mast and brought in top quality NRL talent – Jason Clark is certainly another of this same mould.
The Australian played his rugby for South Sydney Rabbitohs and recorded over 169 appearances, scoring nine tries.
He primarily plays as a loose forward, but can also do a job in the second row. He should add consistency to the Wolves pack and possibly allow them to go that one step further.
Akuila Uate (Huddersfield Giants)
Huddersfield Giants might have lost a great player in Danny Brough, but have added great quality with NRL flyer Akuila Uate.
The former Manly Sea Eagles Winger will be another major headache for Super League defences in 2019 and makes Huddersfield’s back-line a force to be reckoned with. His 200 NRL appearances and 129 tries do well in proving this fact.
McGillvary and Uate is quite the winger duo – Will Woolford’s men make 2019 the year of the Giant?
Joseph Paulo (St Helens)
Paulo is the third of St Helens’ NRL acquisitions and will act as a direct replacement for Jon Wilkin, who ended his long relationship with the Saints and moved to Toronto Wolfpack.
The Samoan international is equally adept at playing at loose forward or back-row and will offer plenty of experience to the side.
With over 150 NRL appearances, he will offer the physicality that comes along with playing weekly in the NRL and the experience that St Helens will be needing now that former club captain Wilkin has left.
Tuimoala Lolohea (Leeds Rhinos)
Despite being the young age of 23, Lolohea is a relatively experienced professional with 71 first-grade NRL games and 22 tries to his name.
The young New Zealand and Tonga International plays the majority of his rugby in the halves but is well equipped to move along the back-line.
Lolohea adds a perfect mix of potential and proven quality to the Rhinos, which they arguably lacked throughout the 2018 season. He will surely prove to be a key acquisition.