The story that took everyone by surprise in the off-season was Luke Gale’s decision to join Keighley Cougars.
Gale has had an interesting career. A product of the Leeds Rhinos academy he made his name in the lower divisions before moving to the capital.
After spells in London and with the Bradford Bulls, Gale became a star with Castleford Tigers and on the back of Dream Team appearances guided the Tigers to the League Leaders’ Shield as he won the Man of Steel.
Then his career came full circle as he captained Leeds to the Challenge Cup in 2020 but after some ups and downs in 2021 he joined Hull FC.
After a tough season at the MKM Stadium, Gale left and made the surprise move to Championship Keighley.
Speaking to BBC Sport West Yorkshire, Gale explained why it took him so long to make a decision on his future as well as admitting his time at Hull didn’t go according to plan:
“I had three months off at the end of last year which was good for the mind and good for the body. I have probably done 15 pre-seasons now and it gets repetitive every day.
“This time I got time to wake up my kids every morning and do the school run and the kind of things I’ve never really done because you get six weeks off a year and the rest of the year you’re in the zone if not training wise, then in your mind.
“So just taking that backwards step and just spending time with the family and kids, it got me excited again for rugby league.
“If you saw me last year I’d be the first one to say I kind of wasn’t enjoying it. I got a couple of bans which didn’t help and in a struggling side with Hull and I wasn’t playing with a smile on my face and I play my best rugby when I’m smiling.”
❤️️ @snozzer_gale is back in love with Rugby League following his move to @Cougarmania!
🎙 Hear more from the former Man of Steel on tonight's Championship & League 1 @BBCWYS special.
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#️⃣ #rugbyleague I #BBCRL pic.twitter.com/mpPqccGSNI
— BBC Sport West Yorkshire (@BBCWYS) January 26, 2023