Exclusive: Apparent Leeds Rhinos target breaks silence on potential Super League move to join Rohan Smith

When identifying transfer targets, the Championship is sometimes classed as an untapped resource.

The likes of rampaging St Helens forward Alex Walmsley and ex-Warrington Wolves captain Chris Hill all began their careers in the second division before making the step up to Super League.

However, some stars drop down to the second tier and then earn a deal back in the top flight and that’s exactly what Batley Bulldogs’ fullback or winger Luke Hooley plans to do.

After coming through the ranks at Wakefield Trinity, the livewire left for Batley in the Championship following spells on loan at the Dewsbury Rams and Oldham before settling at Mount Pleasant.

Since then, Hooley has earned considerable admirers and he has no regrets about dropping down a division.

“I don’t have any regrets about leaving Wakefield,” Hooley told Serious About Rugby League.

“I enjoyed my time there, but joining Batley was the best decision I ever made.”

Hooley does, however, want to return to the top flight and reveals he has matured a lot since last season.

“2022 for me has been probably my best year of rugby.

“I had a good 2021 but I feel like I’ve matured a lot more and become more of a leader.

“I would love to return to Super League; it’s always been my goal to make my debut.”

Recently, speculation has been floating around that Hooley is being chased by a Super League side – the Leeds Rhinos whose transformation under new head coach Rohan Smith has been impressive to say the least.

And, with the salary cap tight at Headingley, attempting to unearth gems such as Hooley may be the way forward for Smith.

Hooley insists, however, that he hasn’t heard anything for next year.

“I haven’t heard anything about next year,” Hooley admitted.

“I’ve tried not to think about it to be fair and instead just focus on this year and getting into the play-offs.”

At just 23 years of age, the outside back is believed to have a big career ahead of him in Super League, but it remains to be seen if and when that happens.

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