It has been confirmed this morning that Leeds Rhinos have made a double swoop for both Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers from Salford Red Devils with the pair set to line up at Headingley for the 2024 campaign.
They are signings of major intent and will see the Rhinos spine revamped for the 2024 campaign with Croft and Ackers being the third and fourth signings throughout Leeds’ spine.
The Salford duo follow Matt Frawley and Lachlan Miller highlighting that the Rhinos are very much building again following a disappointing 2023 season in which they finished eighth in Super League.
In Croft they recruit the 2022 Man of Steel, a season in which the Australian half provided over 30 assists, something that led to Salford trying to tie their man down long term.
Salford and Croft made headlines earlier in the season when it was announced that he had signed a deal until the 2030 season, however just six months later he has officially joined the Rhinos.
Despite this, it has been confirmed by the Red Devils that they received a club record fee for the Australian which was no doubt bolstered by the long term and protective contract.
In a statement Salford confirmed as follows:
“We can confirm that Brodie Croft has joined Leeds Rhinos for a club record transfer fee.
“The 26-year-old joined the club from Brisbane Broncos in August 2021 and has completely transformed his career at the Salford Stadium.”
Earlier in the rumour mill it was revealed by Rugby League Live that the fee involved was believed to be around £200,000 however Serious About Rugby League understood the figure to be closer to £300,000 instead.
It was confirmed by Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington in the signing statement that the duo’s acquisition was the club’s “biggest investment in one go since we signed Iestyn Harris in 1997”, something that paid huge dividends for Leeds.
Regardless Salford now have an influx of cash but two crucial positions to fill heading into the 2024 campaign, whereas the Rhinos have quickly turned around from the early season departure of Kruise Leeming, and post season departures of Blake Austin and Aiden Sezer.
Revealing their signing of Croft and Ackers, the pair both commented highlighting why they had joined Rohan Smith’s side.
Croft stated, “I would like to say a massive thank you to Paul Rowley and everyone at the Salford club who has supported me over the last two years and I wish them all the best for the future. I can’t wait to get started in pre-season and get to know the Leeds boys. When I found out that Gary and Rohan were keen to bring Andy with me from Salford, I was really excited. For me, he is the best hooker in Super League and we have a great relationship on and off the field.
“At Salford we had a really tight knit group and I think that helped us perform to our best and I am hoping to replicate that here at Leeds. I had a big smile on my face walking around AMT Headingley; when you can see all the heritage here, imagining what it will be like running out in front of the Leeds fans and hearing the South Stand roar, I can’t wait,” added Croft.
Ackers is looking forward to his move to AMT Headingley Rugby Stadium. He added, “I am pleased to be joining the Rhinos. I have had three great years at Salford and will always be grateful for my time there. It is an exciting time at the Rhinos. I have had a good chat with Harry Newman and I’ve known Jarrod O’Connor for a number of years. I am looking forward to working with Jarrod and Corey Johnson along with all the other great young lads here. The club have shown their ambition with the squad for next season and I will be looking to play my part.”