The likes of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves, Hull FC, Hull KR and Huddersfield Giants have all completed major signings for the 2024 season.
Many of these have come from the NRL in the shape of Lachie Miller, Matt Frawley, Kruise Leeming, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Herman Ese’ese, Franklin Pele, Peta Hiku and Jack Murchie.
One of the busiest clubs has been the Black and Whites of Hull FC who have signed three players from the NRL already with more to come.
One of these is set to be halfback Cooper Johns. The young halfback is the nephew of former Warrington Wolves star and NRL legend Andrew Johns.
According to the Moles he is set to replace Jake Clifford who returns to North Queensland Cowboys.
A proud North Queensland product and Tully Tigers junior, Clifford came through the Cowboys Academy system before graduating to the NYC in 2017 and was later that season named the competition’s Player of the Year.
He made his NRL debut at five-eighth for the Cowboys in 2018 and played 42 games for the club before departing mid-way through the 2021 season.
Clifford spent the remainder of 2021 and 2022 at the Knights, before moving to the UK Super League with Hull FC in 2023.
The 25-year-old has been in scintillating form in England, scoring five tries and kicking 46 goals for a tally of 112 points in 19 games.
“With Ben Hampton leaving our squad in 2024 we were searching for a half with NRL experience who could back-up Chad Townsend and Tom Dearden as well as help to mentor Tom Duffy,” Cowboys General Manager of Football Micheal Luck said.
“It came to our attention Jake potentially had an interest in coming back to the NRL. We had some discussions with Jake and his agent and we were thrilled to be able to come to terms in quick time.
“He was playing some of the best football of his career under Todd before he left in 2021 and we’re excited about what he can bring to our squad in terms of experience and competition for spots.
“We also know he is a great cultural fit and it’s always a bonus to be able to bring a North Queensland boy home.”