With the May 1 deadline been and gone, those that are out of contract can now look for different clubs, but for some sides, keeping their stars will be the main prerogative. Here’s one off-contract player from each Super League club that need to be kept by their respective sides.
Castleford Tigers – Jordan Turner
He joined the Tigers on a one-year deal at the start of 2021 in the hope of pushing for a starting spot – where he would play, however, was up in the air. Turner began the opening rounds on the wing and performed expertly before shifting into the halves due to injuries. He has already proven his utility value at the Jungle and will definitely be at the top of the list of those the club should retain.
Catalans Dragons – Sam Tomkins
He has only been playing in the south of France since 2019, but Sam Tomkins seems to be the core of this Catalans side. Despite being aged 32, the elusive fullback has arguably improved in each season he has been at the Dragons and looks to have many years left in him.
Huddersfield Giants – Aidan Sezer
There can only be one man on this list from Huddersfield and that’s their talisman Aidan Sezer. Arriving in 2020, the diminutive halfback was in with a shout of Man of Steel in his first season in Super League and has continued his form into the new year too. If the Giants are to have any hopes of the play-offs in 2021, the pressure will be on Sezer to perform, but it will be interesting to see whether or not the Aussie would stay beyond.
Hull FC – Jake Connor
Having been moved to fullback in the absence of Jamie Shaul, Jake Connor has excelled to make that number one shirt his own. Take him out of this team and Hull lose a lot of magic in their ranks, which is why it is imperative that the club keeps him. Connor is thriving under former fullback Brett Hodgson and this relationship is only going to get better.
Hull KR – Matt Parcell
He’s been at Hull KR for just two seasons, but Matt Parcell has had a tremendous impact in that time. Interchanging with Jez Litten – who comes off the bench – the dynamic duo have caused Super League sides a great deal of problems around the ruck area and it will be vital for Tony Smith to keep the Australian in his ranks.
Leeds Rhinos – Matt Prior
If ever an overseas signing has had as much impact in such a short space of time as Matt Prior then please speak up now. Despite fears about the coronavirus, the prop played to an exceptionally high level in 2020 and has again started 2021 in the same vein. At the age of 33, it would probably be Prior’s last contract, but he would be an incredible role model to help bring through the youngsters at Headingley too.
Leigh Centurions – Liam Hood
Liam Hood has been Leigh’s best player this season so far, so it would make sense for the club to try and tie him down to a longer contract. Despite being a Leeds academy product, Hood really seems to have made himself a home at the Centurions after spells at Salford and Widnes. And, if Leigh are to stay in the top-flight, then the performances of Hood will be vital.
Salford Red Devils – Tui Lolohea
He’s recently been linked with a move to Huddersfield to reunite with former boss Ian Watson, but Tui Lolohea is Salford’s main go-to man. The playmaker joined on-loan from Leeds in 2019 before making the switch permanent in 2020, helping the Red Devils to a Grand Final and Challenge Cup Final in that time. Salford must keep him, especially with him being just 26 years of age.
St Helens – James Bentley
It could quite easily have been James Roby making this list, but instead it’s 23-year-old James Bentley. The second-rower joined Saints from Bradford in 2018 and, following dual-registration spells at Sheffield and Leigh, nailed down a starting spot in the St Helens side at the back end of 2020. And, he has kicked on in 2021 too, though a serious injury will see him sidelined for the next few months.
Wakefield Trinity – Max Jowitt
The 24-year-old is part of the furniture at the Mobile Rocket Stadium so early on in his career, but Max Jowitt has also become one of Wakefield’s most consistent players. With the ability to play at fullback and halfback – if necessary – Jowitt continues to impress in a poor Trinity outfit. And, if Wakefield are to improve from 2022 and beyond, then he needs to be tied down to a longer contract.
Warrington Wolves – Toby King
On the cusp of England selection and still only 24, Toby King is one of Warrington’s most important assets. That’s why it is difficult to understand why the Wolves would be willing to be part with him if rumours are to be believed. King has over 100 Warrington appearances to his name already and has formed a devastating left-edge partnership with Ben Currie.
Wigan Warriors – Sam Powell
Yes, Bevan French is out of contract at the end of 2021 too, but Sam Powell is the man that makes Wigan tick in the centre of the field. Regularly topping the tackling charts of every game, the hooker is arguably one of the most improved players in the game. And, he’s still only 28 so should be around for a good few years yet.