With the group stages finished, there are some big names still in the competition who remain unsigned for the 2023 season.
With a rare international rugby league tournament, these players have the chance to put themselves in the shop window with the knockout rounds coming up.
So, here’s five free agents who have caught the eye in the World Cup so far:
Chanel Harris Tavita (Samoa)
The young half back announced he would be taking a hiatus from rugby league, stating that he had lost his passion for the game. After three tries in two games so far this tournament, and with Samoa looking like a real threat, there is nothing to suggest that his love for rugby league can’t return after a good tournament and a new group of players. We may hopefully see him playing rugby league beyond 2022, with other players having rediscovered their motivation to play rugby league in the past, and what better way to do so than on the international stage.
Josh Mansour (Lebanon)
Legendary former Penrith Panthers and South Sydney Rabbitohs winger Josh Mansour was prolific in the group stages as Lebanon progressed to the quarter finals. Scoring a hat trick against Jamaica and the opener against New Zealand, the 32-year-old certainly has the quality to be playing top flight rugby league. With former NRL wingers having enjoyed success in Super League in previous years, a proven try scorer would be good business for a Super League club in need of experience. Though there has been rumours of a move to Sydney Roosters recently.
Martin Taupau (Samoa)
Tauapau’s future has been talking point for the last couple of seasons, but is now free to explore other options for his future having been linked with a move to Super League in the past including to Leeds Rhinos. South Sydney have been rumoured to be interested, but there are plenty of Super League clubs who could benefit from a forward with over 200 NRL games of experience. Taupau has come off the bench in all three of Samoa’s games so far, and with the tougher games coming up, his World Cup experience could be vital.
Brandon Wakeman (Fiji)
Another young halfback, Wakeman is available for clubs to sign after his contract with Canterbury ended earlier this year. Starting every game for Fiji at halfback is an impressive feat at just 23, and he has been exceptional on conversions. Given recent successes of young NRL halfbacks such as Brodie Croft in Super League, there is surely some clubs keeping a close eye on what could be a fantastic player in the future.