This week, the Mole of Wide World of Sports reported that St Helens star Joe Batchelor is interested in a move to the NRL despite signing a deal until the end of 2025.
The validity of this claim has been disputed but it certainly seems that NRL clubs are keen on the outstanding second-row who would make any club in Australia or England a great signing.
So, here’s five NRL clubs who could be interested in Batchelor.
The Knights have made a habit of signing British players all of a sudden. They have former Castleford Tigers man Bailey Hodgson and ex-Huddersfield Giants youngster Dom Young signed on already. In 2024, Wigan Warriors star Kai Pearce-Paul and the Giants’ halfback Will Pryce will join the club. Ex-Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott is assistant at the Knights and Great Britian international and former Salford Red Devils hero Jackson Hastings is signed on for 2023. Thus they could very well make a move for Joe Batchelor after letting go of David Klemmer.
Gold Coast Titans
With uncertainty hanging over star backrow David Fifita’s future at the club, signing Joe Batchelor would give the Titans security in the position and would ensure they have a cost effective solution to Fifita who has been one of their more expensive signings. He would also be linking up with former St Helens boss Justin Holbrook – the man who brought him to St Helens.
Speaking of former St Helens’ coaches, Kristian Woolf is at The Dolphins as assistant coach and ready to take over in the future from former England boss Wayne Bennett. He developed Batchelor into an England international and could very well bring him to The Dolphins as they start their NRL journey. Former Wigan man Oliver Gildart is already at the club.
The Canberra Raiders have signed plenty of British stars in recent times. Josh Hodgson from Hull KR, Elliott Whitehead from Catalans Dragons, Ryan Sutton, George Williams and John Bateman from Wigan. They are chasing the aforementioned Fifita so a failure to sign him could see them consider Batchelor instead after proven success with British players in the past.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
A club who have signed English players in the past to great success, namely the Burgess brothers but also the unrelated now Salford Red Devils winger Joe Burgess, they could very well hope to have the same success with Batchelor.