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5 potential destinations for Rhyse Martin in 2025

Leeds Rhinos

When the new Leeds Rhinos Sporting Director, Ian Blease, arrived at the club, he found a growing list of priorities which needed to be addressed. Top of the list was the future of under-pressure Head Coach, Rohan Smith. A near second should be the future of Rhyse Martin.

Blease and the Rhinos have taken decisive action of that front, having announced that Smith has left the club with immediate effect. The search for a new Head Coach will begin immediately, with the Rhinos desperately clinging to their hopes of making the top six in Super League.

With Smith’s future resolved and a search for a new Head Coach underway, the focus can turn to the squad that Smith’s permanent successor will inherit. As things stand, the Rhinos risk losing of their key players. Rhyse Martin is out of contract at the end of the season and the back-rower is yet to agree a new deal with the club.

With that in mind, we look at five potential destinations where Martin may play in 2025.

Leigh Leopards

Leigh Leopards Head Coach Adrian Lam

Credit: Imago Images

The Leigh Leopards’ playing squad will have a vastly different feel to it in 2025, with the club undergoing one of the most significant rebuilds in Super League.

The club have already confirmed the departures of John Asiata, Tom Amone and Kai O’Donnell. Key players such as Zak Hardaker, Oliver Holmes, Ricky Leutele and Ed Chamberlain have all also been linked with moves away with the club.

The club’s rebuild is underway though. Aaron Pene has joined the club with immediate effect and the Leopards are reportedly actively working on a number of deals.

It has been reported that Martin is one of those they are trying to bring in. Martin would be a like for like replacement for back-rower, O’Donnell, and the Leopards are believed to have tabled an offer.

Martin is a proud native of Papua New Guinea, like Leopards Coach, Adrian Lam. With the news that Lam will remain at Leigh until 2027, could Martin be set to join his fellow countryman at the club?

Warrington Wolves

Sam Burgess

Credit: Imago Images

The Warrington Wolves have been one of the biggest success stories in Super League this season, under the stewardship of Head Coach, Sam Burgess. The Wolves were defeated and Challenge Cup finalists and are well established in the top six of Super League.

However, they look set to lose young star, Matty Nicholson, who is believed to be on the verge of a move to the NRL. If Nicholson does leave, this will open up a vacancy in Warrington’s back row.

Sky Sports’ Jenna Brooks has recently suggested that Warrington have entered the race to sign Martin, stating:

“Rhyse Martin is off contract at the end of this year. Now, we know that the Rhinos are quite determined to hold on to him. There’s reports suggesting that the Leigh Leopards have tabled an offer.

“Well today I understand that Warrington are also interested in potentially signing the goal-kicking second row so plenty of interest for Rhyse Martin.”

Leeds Rhinos

Rhyse Martin playing for Leeds Rhinos. Will he head to Huddersfield Giants?

Credit: Imago Images

The most straightforward option, of course, is that Martin remains with the Rhinos. He has had a long and successful association with the club during his time in the UK, and the Rhinos have stated their desire for Martin to remain at the club.

Martin has been one of the most consistent performers at the Rhinos, through a spell that has seen the club’s fortunes fluctuate wildly. Martin has lifted a Challenge Cup and reached a Grand Final with Leeds. However, he has also seen the club struggle, never more so than this season.

What cannot be questioned is Martin’s ability. In 108 appearances for the Rhinos he has scored 28 tries and 355 goals. He has showcased his versatility, playing in the back row, at centre and in the halves.

He is a crucial part of the side and the Rhinos must make every effort to keep him at the club, whoever their new coach is.

The Dolphins

Credit: Imago Images

The Dolphins have been one of the NRL’s surprise packages this season. In just their second season in the competition, the Queensland based franchise currently sit fourth in the table, under the guidance of former England Coach and NRL legend, Wayne Bennett.

Bennett is set to leave the club at the end of the season to return to the South Sydney Rabbitohs. He will be replaced by a Head Coach with significant knowledge of the Super League market, in former St Helens coach, Kristian Woolf.

Reports earlier in the year suggested that the Dolphins were keen to bring Martin back to the NRL when his contract with the Rhinos expired at the end of the season.

It remains to be seen whether Martin would want to return to Australia at this stage in his career. However, if he does, the Dolphins may be the ideal destination for him.

A new NRL Franchise in PNG

Credit: Imago Images

Circumstances may conspire against this being a viable option. But at one stage, it appeared likely that there would be a new franchise in the NRL next season, based in PNG. A string of players who represent the Kumuls at international level were linked. As Martin is the current captain, his name was naturally linked.

Rumours suggested that the owners of the mooted franchise were keen to bring Martin in as their marquee signing and captain. However, it now appears that the franchise will not enter the competition until the 2027 season at the earliest, meaning a move looks less likely to materialise in the immediate future.

However, things can change quickly in sport and no formal decision has been made on whether a new franchise will enter the NRL for the 2025 season. If the PNG based side is unexpectedly added to the tournament, they will have to set about building a team quickly.

With his contract set to expire, Martin could be the perfect addition.

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