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Jackson Hastings and Lewis Dodd decisions could result in Super League move for NRL playmaker

Super League logo, Lachlan Ilias, Jackson Hastings and Lewis Dodd

Moves for St Helens star Lewis Dodd and former Wigan Warriors and Salford Red Devils star Jackson Hastings could spark a move to Super League for a current NRL half-back.

It was announced last month that St Helens half-back Lewis Dodd would be heading to South Sydney Rabbitohs for the 2025 season, in a major blow for Paul Wellens’ side.

The 22-year-old said he had ‘sleepless nights’ over making the move away from the club he’s been with for seven years.

At the time, Souths were at the bottom of the NRL table and without a head coach, following the departure of Jason Demetriou.

Now, however, they’ve captured former England head coach Wayne Bennett, and have won three games on the bounce.

Therefore, they’re looking to build next year with a new-look side, and this is bad news for Rabbitohs half Lachlan Ilias.

He’s been ruled out for the rest of the season, and has now been granted permission to talk to clubs about a move due to Dodd’s arrival – meaning he’s likely to have played his last game for Souths.

Hastings decision to cause Ilias to move to Super League?

Super League target Lachlan Ilias and Tom Burgess at the World Cup - Bramall Lane

Credit: Imago Images

It did, for a while, look like Ilias would be heading to Newcastle Knights, and the club’s General Manager even confirmed that they were interested in the player.

This was because Jackson Hastings’ future at the Knights was uncertain, with it looking possible he’d be heading for the exit door.

However, according to The Newcastle Herald, it has now been decided that he will remain there for the remaining two years of his contract.

Therefore, the Knights have dropped their interest in Ilias, according to Zero Tackle, meaning he’ll now have to head elsewhere.

A number of clubs are reportedly interested in his services, including Canterbury Bulldogs, whose head coach, Cameron Ciraldo, said: “Lachlan is a really good player and we do have space in our roster moving forward in the next few years.

“I didn’t know too much about it until I got asked the question … I wouldn’t rule out anything but we are focused on the team we have here and developing through the system, we are really excited about that.”

Despite this, there have been suggestions that Ilias could decide to make the move to Super League, and at just 24 years-old, he’s got plenty of time to return to NRL if he wishes after a stint in the Northern Hemisphere.

NRL Quiz: Can you name the teams these 10 English players have played for?

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Kruise Leeming

Which Super League clubs could Lachlan Ilias join?

Catalans Dragons

Catalonia flags and Catalans Dragons flags, and lots of fans and ticker tape at Stade Gilbert Britus for a Super League match.

Credit: Imago Images

Cesar Rougé is out of contract at the end of the year, having signed a two-year deal in 2022, and the talented 21-year-old could be a major target for other clubs in Super League and even NRL, joining teammates Tom Davies, Mike McMeeken and Tom Johnstone, amongst others, who will reportedly be part of a mass exodus from the club.

Jordan Abdull, on a season-long loan from Hull KR, will also have his deal expiring at the end of the season, so there will be a half-back spot in their squad next year, as it seems unlikely that young Ugo Tison will be ready to play a major role in the 2025 season.

They’ve already been looking to NRL for a half-back, with the whirlwind contrasting reports of Luke Keary’s potential move from the Roosters showing, at the very least, they want to make a big signing.

If Keary doesn’t head to Perpignan, it could be Lachlan Ilias in France next year.

Wakefield Trinity

Wakefield Trinity s Daryl Powell celebrates victory at Wembley

Credit: Imago Images

Trinity are a club that expect to be in Super League next season and will be making all the necessary arrangements to be able to compete in 2025.

They are already putting significant funds into the stadium, with Belle Vue finally being brought up to scratch now that IMG is doing their thing, and they’ve already, reportedly made some huge signings ahead of next year.

The aforementioned Tom Johnstone and Mike McMeeken have both agreed to join from Catalans Dragons next season, showing that Wakefield are capable of luring some of the league’s biggest names to West Yorkshire.

They clearly have huge ambition, and what would show more ambition than looking to sign one of NRL’s best half-back prospects?

The current pairing in the halves of Luke Gale and Mason Lino is very strong in the Championship, but they’ll surely be looking to upgrade ahead of a season in Super League: enter Lachlan Ilias.

Castleford Tigers

Castleford Tigers

Credit: Imago Images

It looks like the Tigers will be losing a half-back soon, with head coach Craig Lingard saying Danny Richardson is free to leave the club.

With suggestions that Castleford will have funds for ‘marquee’ signings next year, and the fact that the side has struggled to perform, means they’ll likely look for a new playmaker for 2025.

While the club don’t necessarily have the pulling power of some others, Ilias’ below-par performances this year, and his bad injury, could mean Ilias’ options are limited.

It also makes plenty of sense from the club’s side: they need a half-back and have already shown that they’re keen to sign young players with plenty of talent, even if there’s an element of risk there.

It may be tricky for them to secure, but they’d be crazy not to try.

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