Major Super League stars out of contract at the end of 2022

Super League – and rugby league in general – often descends into a scramble for the best players when clubs realise they are out of contract.

Of course, clubs cannot legally approach a player in the final year of their contract until May 1, so it’s up to players’ current sides to decide whether or not they want to extend and try and get it done before that deadline.

Here are some of the major players off contract at the end of 2022.

Jake Trueman – Castleford Tigers

He’s been the subject of speculation for some time, but Jake Trueman only has a year left on his deal. With the likes of Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves and Hull FC all said to be circling at some stage, Castleford are possibly going to have trouble in trying to keeping him.

Tom Johnstone – Wakefield Trinity

Another Yorkshireman, Tom Johnstone is arguably one of the most sought after wingers in the competition. Though the Trinity star dismissed reports linking him with Warrington during the 2021 season, there will likely be great interest in the summer if Wakefield do not tie him down.

Bevan French – Wigan Warriors

Bevan French suffered in 2021 with a bad injury which saw him leave the country early to go Down Under for rehab. Lightning fast with superb attacking and defensive qualities, French won’t be short of suitors. He agreed to another 12-month deal during last season, but time will tell to see if he commits again.

Zak Hardaker – Wigan Warriors

Another massive face at the DW Stadium that is heading into his final season, Zak Hardaker has been linked with a move away from Wigan ever since he decided to move back home to Pontefract. That lengthy commute left the fullback wanting a deal nearer home, but one couldn’t be found towards the back end of 2021. However, that may be different heading into 2023.

Blake Austin – Leeds Rhinos

He signed for just one season at Leeds, which was a decision made by Blake Austin himself in a bid to see him play at the top of his game. It was also signed before former Rhinos number 7 Luke Gale left the club. Now, with a halfback position virtually guaranteed, Austin may well enjoy the fruits of his labour in 2022 and want to stay further.

Gareth Widdop – Warrington Wolves

A former teammate of Blake Austin’s, Gareth Widdop has been under scrutiny ever since he made the move to Warrington back in 2020. After a tough first season in Super League, the halfback excelled in 2021, earning a nomination for the Man of Steel. And, that was done without his family in the UK for most of the season.

Sam Tomkins – Catalans Dragons

He’s already said he wants to finish his career in the south of France, but Sam Tomkins is out of contract at the end of 2022. It would be sheer folly by the Catalans Dragons to not renew his deal, given both sides have quite obviously thrived from the original deal to start with.

Harry Newman – Leeds Rhinos

Like Blake Austin, Harry Newman has just one year left on his Leeds Rhinos deal which is surprising considering how highly he is rated at Headingley. It would be a shock if the 21-year-old was to depart and the West Yorkshire club will likely be working behind the scenes to get Newman to sign on.

Jacob Miller – Wakefield Trinity

Jacob Miller had been strongly linked with a move to the Wigan Warriors earlier in the season, before the Lancashire side signed Manly Sea Eagles halfback Cade Cust. Having been made skipper and with him being adored in the Trinity stands, it would be unlikely if Miller was to leave, but who knows how close the former Hull FC halfback came to leaving earlier in 2021.

Josh Reynolds – Hull FC

Having signed for two years back in 2020, Josh Reynolds finds himself out of contract at the end of 2022. Though his first season at Hull FC started off well, that form tailed off towards the back end of the season as he suffered injury and a lack of form. It will be an interesting one this.

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