As the 2021 season nears, there are still plenty of players in both Super League and the NRL without a club.
Below is a list of current free agents on both sides of the world.
At just 25 years of age and with over 100 top-flight appearances under his belt for Warrington, it seems rather strange that Dec Patton does not have a club. However, the playmaker is sure to attract some interest especially given his Challenge Cup winners’ medal.
A Catalans legend, it was perhaps surprising to see Casty to depart at the end of 2020 after contributing so much to the Dragons over the years. Though 35, the French prop would still offer a great deal, particularly with his experience helping to bring youngsters through.
A superb player for Catalans Dragons, Tony Gigot left the club under a cloud in 2019. And, ill-fated spells with both Toronto and Wakefield have left the 30-year-old without any security going into 2021. With a wicked step and outrageous skills, the Frenchman surely won’t be without a club for much longer.
Despite being Hull KR captain last season, Weller Hauraki was made surplus to requirements following head coach Tony Smith’s rebuild of the club. Although he is 35, the second-rower could still bring a lot to a side on a short-term deal.
After suffering with long-term illness, Ben Jones-Bishop returned to action with Wakefield in 2020, proving he still had what it takes to deliver at the top level. With the World Cup at the end of the year, the winger will still be wanting to catch the eye in a bid to make it big with Jamaica.
Eight seasons with Huddersfield later and Ukuma Ta’ai has been shown the door. An unbelievably strong player on the field, the Tongan international was a big hit at the John Smith’s Stadium and will be a similarly big hit at whichever club takes a punt on him.
McCrone has been left without a club since the exit of Toronto from Super League. At 33, he is not exactly a spring chicken, but with an incredible fitness level, the playmaker is still able to physically deal with the rigours of top-flight rugby league.
Still only 29, Jordan Kahu made just two appearances for the Brisbane Broncos in 2020 after being a regular in his first spell. With the ability to play anywhere along the three-quarter line as well as possessing an accurate goalkicking boot, Kahu would be an asset to any side.
Following a mid-season move to Brisbane, Issac Luke made 12 appearances for the wooden-spooners in what proved to be a disastrous year all round for the Broncos. Despite that, the hooker still impressed, though his 33-year-old age tag may put some suitors off.
A firm favourite at each side he has been at, Bryson Goodwin now finds himself without a club at 35. Seven appearances with the Cronulla Sharks in 2020 – after moving from English side Warrington – weren’t enough to earn the three-quarter another deal, but he would still bring a wealth of experience to any club willing to take a chance.
Wests hero Benji Marshall left the club at the end of 2020, despite being one of the standout performers in yet another disappointing Tigers season. At 35, it is unlikely that the elusive halfback will play on for much longer, but there has been no shortage of suitors.
30-year-old hooker Nathan Peats was released at the end of last season by the Gold Coast Titans after 70 appearances for the club. A wily fox around the ruck, Peats would more than do a job for either an NRL or Super League side.
Another Gold Coast victim, Tyrone Roberts too was released at the end of last season following a year in which he made just three appearances. An intelligent halfback with a great kicking game, Roberts is still only 29 and has a lot to offer despite his struggles at Warrington and the Titans.
After another Premiership-winning year with Melbourne, Cameron Smith has been the subject of rife rumours concerning his future. Although 37, the hooker’s brain is as youthful as ever as epitomised with his 14-point haul in the 2020 Grand Final.
Having not played an NRL game since 2018, rampaging forward Tony Williams is perhaps unlikely to find another club to take a chance on him. Now 32 and released by Manly in 2020 without making an appearance, it could be last chance saloon for the former Australian and Tongan international.
Sonny Bill Williams
It was a less-than harmonious return to NRL life in 2020 following a dismal time at Toronto Wolfpack for Sonny Bill Williams. He made just five appearances for the Sydney Roosters and failed to impress. Aged 35, Williams has yet to make it clear what his plans are going forward but he remains open to offers.
Other notable free agents: Tim Lafai, Danny Levi, Brendan Elliot, Olly Ashall-Bott, Kyle Trout, Tom Olbison, Mason Caton-Brown, Chase Stanley, Junior Moors.