Off-contract NRL players who could be Super League bound

Despite the 2021 NRL and Super League seasons still to get underway, the rumour mill about what will happen beyond the 2021 campaign is in overdrive.

Amongst those rumours, NRL stars who are off-contract at the end of this season are already being touted as potential imports for Super League.

Here are some of those that could make the move across hemispheres.

Josh Dugan – Cronulla Sharks

Now approaching the twilight of his career, Josh Dugan has seemingly done it all; having played State of Origin as well as appearing in the green-and-gold of Australia, the three-quarter may well be up for a new challenge. At 30 years of age, Dugan still has a few years left in him and it could be down to a side like Warrington to take a punt on him like they have with Greg Inglis.

Shaun Johnson – Cronulla Sharks

Another approaching the wrong end of 30, Shaun Johnson has only been at the Sharks since 2019, but has found it somewhat difficult to settle in following the move from New Zealand Warriors. A livewire halfback, it would indeed be a magnificent coup for any Super League side to land him, but stranger things have happened.

Ashley Taylor – Gold Coast Titans

Only 25, Ash Taylor has been at the Gold Coast since 2016, but has failed to have a major impact. Towards the back end of 2020, the halfback did find his feet somewhat, but it will be interesting to see if he can carry that on into 2021. Maybe Taylor needs a fresh start which could see him travel thousands of miles to do so.

Kieran Foran – Manly Sea Eagles

He’s back at Manly – the club where it all started for Kieran Foran. But, the expectation is a lot greater now having had a few failed seasons elsewhere than when the halfback first came through the ranks. At 30, Foran does not have that many years left and it could be time for a break from the scrutiny that comes with the territory in the NRL.

Blake Green – Newcastle Knights

At the age of 34, Blake Green does not have many years left, yet, having already tasted success in Super League with Wigan Warriors, the halfback could be tempted to make the trip once more. He played just three times for Newcastle in 2020 after making a mid-season switch from the Warriors, which could see the playmaker look elsewhere if more appearances aren’t forthcoming.

Scott Drinkwater – North Queensland Cowboys

Brother of Josh Drinkwater – the Catalans halfback – Scott has yet to set the NRL alight despite playing almost 30 games for the Cowboys. The pressure of trying to replace and emulate Johnathan Thurston is incredible to say the least and so the 23-year-old halfback could be tempted with a move to Super League, especially if Josh puts in a good word.

Dane Gagai – South Sydney Rabbitohs

Could he follow in the footsteps of Souths great Greg Inglis in making the trip to Super League? Gagai has been at the top of his game for a number of years now, but the three-quarter could be aiming for something new having conquered the southern hemisphere. He’s only 30 so perhaps it might not be yet, but who knows?

Adam Reynolds – South Sydney Rabbitohs

This would be a major coup if any Super League side could land Adam Reynolds, but the halfback has reportedly hit a bump in the road with the Rabbitohs over contract talks. Reynolds was made captain in 2020 so his allegiance to Souths may tell in the end, but he’s already won everything possible Down Under and at 30, the halfback should not be ruled out from making a sensational move.

Corey Norman – St George Illawarra Dragons

Discipline has always been a problem for NRL star Corey Norman, so a new beginning in Super League could be what the playmaker needs to rejuvenate his career at the age of 30. Having been at the Dragons since 2019, Norman has yet to really find his feet and the frustration may well be felt in the upcoming campaign if that doesn’t change.

Jake Friend – Sydney Roosters

It would be phenomenal to see, but Jake Friend in Super League isn’t actually that big of a shock. The hooker may well be co-captain at the Roosters, but he still hasn’t signed a new contract – suggesting that there is either some kind of obstacle or that he fancies a move elsewhere. Aged 31, Friend could well end an illustrious career in the northern hemisphere.

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