Former Super League referee questions the salary cap situations at Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants following Jake Connor switch

On Friday, we saw one of the biggest and most surprising stories of the rugby league year, maybe even the decade.

Jake Connor, six years after leaving the Giants, has returned to Huddersfield after a successful spell with Hull FC.

It leaves the Giants with a star studded squad for 2023 as he joins the likes of Tui Lolohea, Will Pryce, Theo Fages, and Olly Russell in a set of spine options which have incredible depth.

Connor is just the latest in a long list of impressive signings from the Giants going into 2023 which include Jake Bibby, Kevin Naiqama and Esan Marsters.

It’s a big contrast from West Yorkshire rivals Leeds Rhinos who according to coach Rohan Smith have already spent up to the cap for 2023 meaning that right now the Rhinos cannot keep Zak Hardaker who had a terrific season with the Rhinos after making the mid-season switch from Wigan.

To former Super League referee Richard Silverwood, the difference between the two makes him question the situation at both clubs.

He noted that he often wonders how in situations like this, how a team like Huddersfield have been able to manage the salary cap so that they can have so many star players – something that they should be commended for.

Meanwhile, he also questioned how Leeds have found themselves in the opposite situation.

He took to Twitter to say: “I look at squads and often think how the hell are they fitting under the cap. You then read Leeds are full capacity yet just lost 6 or 7 is it and can’t fit in Hardaker. Must be some seriously over paid players there.”

Ironically, the move for Connor could lead to Hardaker staying at Leeds as it could see Jack Walker make the move to Hull FC opening up the cap space needed at Headingley to keep the former Man of Steal.

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