Leeds Rhinos have been busy in terms of recruitment already and are expected to sign Brodie Croft from Salford Red Devils to join former Huddersfield Giants halfback Matt Frawley in the halves next year.
They have also signed Mickael Goudemand and exciting fullback Lachie Miller for the 2024 season.
But the Rhinos are also trying to address another key position: hooker. This comes after Kruise Leeming left the club and is now bound for Wigan Warriors in 2024.
So which players could Leeds Rhinos consider in this role?
This would essentially be a straight swap. Leeds will likely be looking for a British number nine to offset their use of quota spots elsewhere and Powell fits the bill. The hooker can also play in the halves adding key cover for the Rhinos.
A Rhinos academy product who would subsequently be subject to salary cap dispensation, a homecoming to Leeds would make a lot of sense. The Rhinos need a nine who can also cover the halves whilst Cas are trying to reduce the average age of their squad and are looking for money to help finance their new era.
The Rhinos are also in need of a centre with Nene MacDonald set to join Salford Red Devils next year according to reports. This is despite the fact he recently made a statement that he would be staying at Headingley.
“I came back to Australia for the birth of my child,” he told Post-Courier. “I signed a four-year deal, I’m still there and I don’t know what everyone is saying but I still got a four-year deal.
“I’m still contracted and I haven’t done anything wrong…we (Rhinos) can’t make the finals so I’m staying back and getting the chance to play and it’s just exciting to be back. It’s been too long like 2019 COVID and home and being away in England…miss being here and it’s good to be back home.”
However his release was recently confirmed. So who could replace him?
According to reports down under Leeds have moved for the Sydney Roosters centre and this would be a very smart signing but, assuming Leeds secure Croft, would take up their last quota spot.
Lastly, the Rhinos are in the market for a prop who would have to be British in this case.
Who could they consider?
The more realistic of our options is Sam Eseh who has been relegated with Wakefield Trinity. He would be the ideal replacement for Sam Walters.
A pipe dream perhaps but he would be the perfect response to Luke Thompson at Wigan Warriors. He has spoken about a desire to come to Leeds…