Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Hull FC and Catalans Dragons have questions to answer in the spine again ahead of 2024.
Leeds’ situation is intriguing. Not only is there a focus on halfbacks but a question looms over the fullback spot.
Richie Myler is Leeds’ current number one but is in the twilight of his career and his contract expires at the end of 2024.
This only adds to the pressure of finding the right halfbacks for 2023 with both Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer out of contract at the end of the year.
It has been suggested that Leeds are actually in the market for a fullback for next year with the plan being to move Richie Myler back to the halves.
They were linked with a move for “X Factor” fullback Daine Laurie until a surprise move was made by Penrith Panthers for the fullback.
It has now been confirmed that Laurie will return to the Panthers ahead of the 2024 NRL campaign after three seasons with Wests Tigers.
A proud Indigenous man, Laurie joined the Panthers as a teenager in 2017 and played in the club’s SG Ball, Jersey Flegg and NSW Cup teams before making his NRL debut in 2020.
The 24-year-old has played 46 NRL games with 10 tries to his name, and has represented the Indigenous All Stars and Prime Minister’s XIII.
Panthers Rugby League CEO Matt Cameron said he was pleased to see Laurie sign on with the club.
“I look forward to welcoming Daine back to Panthers for the 2024 season,” Cameron said.
“It’s always rewarding to see a former Panther return home to the club, and we believe Daine can flourish in the Panthers environment.”
So Leeds will have to pivot their focus elsewhere. This could force Leeds’ hand as they are linked with Newcastle Knights fullback Lachlan Miller according to Rugby League Live.
Could they therefore go all guns blazing for Miller.
It seems like a move that makes sense now that Laurie is out of the picture.
The club were also linked with Danny Levi but it now also appears that this is off the table with reports suggesting that he has re-signed with Canberra.