Top six signings ahead of the 2019 Championship season

Drew Darbyshire

There have been a number of high-profile moves in the Championship this off-season, so we have picked out sex of the best.

Jon Wilkin (Toronto Wolfpack)

Wilkin is probably the highest-profile signing in the Championship ahead of the 2019 campaign.

It will be strange seeing the 35-year-old in anything other than a St Helens shirt next season. He played over 400 games for Saints in a 16-year stint at the club, scoring 92 tries.

A back-rower or loose forward, Wilkin will add a lot of experience to Toronto’s squad in 2019 and could well be the difference in them gaining promotion to Super League or not.

Jake Webster (Bradford Bulls)

Webster might be 35, but he proved for Castleford last season that he has still got it.

The former New Zealand international left the Tigers at the end of last season after scoring 49 tries in 125 appearances for the club.

Webster will soon become a fan favourite with the Bulls. He boasts a bulky frame and his style of play might even remind the supporters of the times when they had Tongan powerhouses Lesley Vainikolo and Tevita Vaikona on the wings.

Martyn Ridyard (Leigh Centurions)

A lot of people were shocked when it was announced that Ridyard was leaving Leigh for Featherstone Rovers ahead of last season.

The 32-year-old will return to his boyhood club though after just one year away from the Leigh Sports Village.

Ridyard scored 77 tries and kicked 742 goals in 222 in his first spell at the club, which lasted eight years. He is a general and will add a feel-good factor to the Centurions again after what has been a rough couple of months for the club.

Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e (Halifax)

The former Samoa international enjoyed a short spell with Halifax in the Championship last season, before taking a chance with Castleford Tigers in Super League.

Laulu-Togaga’e impressed during his time in the top-flight with the Tigers, scorings six tries in nine games from the full-back and half-back positions.

Due to Castleford now having Peter Mata’utia as their starting full-back, they released Laulu-Togaga’e at the end of last season and he has since re-joined Fax, where he scored four tries in as many games. He is an immensely entertaining player to watch.

Gareth Hock (Barrow Raiders)

Hock is another veteran of the game, but one that can still do a good job for any pack in the competition.

The 35-year-old left Featherstone at the end of last season after playing 13 times for the club in his solitary season there.

Hock provides plenty of aggression and is difficult player to tackle, so he will be an asset for Barrow next season. The Raiders have a big pack for 2019, with the arrivals of Papua New Guinea internationals Wartovo Puara and Willie Minoga.

Anthony Gelling (Widnes Vikings)

There was a lot of controversy surrounding this transfer, with at one point Gelling himself admitting on Twitter that he didn’t think he would pull on a Widnes jersey in 2019.

The Cook Islands international spent the 2018 season in the NRL with New Zealand Warriors, scoring two tries in seven games.

Gelling earned a fine reputation in Super League with Wigan Warriors between 2012 and 2017, crossing 52 times in 115 appearances. Gelling is a brilliant strike centre, with a lot of power in his carries. He is also a funny character, so he will add a lot to the dressing room.