There’s always an excitement surrounding new signings and whether or not they are going to be successful. But, just which five have been the best in Super League so far in 2021?
Castleford Tigers – Jordan Turner – 7/10
When Castleford signed Jordan Turner ahead of the 2021 season, there were a few groans from the Tigers faithful. Over the age of 30 and with little game time under his belt for the past few seasons at Huddersfield, their concerns were perhaps well grounded. However, Turner has been arguably one of Castleford’s greatest players in 2021 so far. From starting on the wing in the opening rounds and then moving to halfback and into the pack, the utility man has more than shown his worth and was good value for a new two-year deal.
Catalans Dragons – Mike McMeeken – 8/10
With life at Castleford going stagnant in recent years, Mike McMeeken made the brave decision of moving his young family to the south of France. That move, however, has more than paid off; the towering second-rower has become one of Catalans’ most potent weapons out wide. The Londoner has already scored four tries in eight games and looks to have a new lease of life in Perpignan.
Huddersfield Giants – Ricky Leutele – 6/10
He has definitely been Huddersfield’s best signing, but that doesn’t really say much for a side that was predicted for greatness in 2021 and instead has flopped drastically. Ricky Leutele has, however, been solid if not spectacular with some metre-eating runs out of defence and some good touches going forward, but his talent has been somewhat stifled in a side that has won just three games in eight.
Hull FC – Josh Reynolds – 9/10
Prior to his injury, Josh Reynolds was firing on all cylinders, helping Hull to a Challenge Cup semi-final and easing into a play-off spot. The Airlie Birds have, however, had something of a wobble recently, losing to Wigan, Catalans and St Helens, but with the Australian back in their ranks, they will be hoping to improve on their current fifth-placed spot. Reynolds’ tenacity and toughness has resonated well with the Hull faithful and he has already become a highly popular figure on the terraces of the KCOM Stadium.
Hull KR – Ryan Hall – 9/10
When it was announced that Ryan Hall was returning to the UK after a less-than successful spell in Australia with Sydney Roosters, there were claims that the winger wouldn’t be able to pick up where he left off in Super League. Well, those claims have been well and truly smashed with Hall scoring ten tries in nine appearances and causing defences the same sort of problems that he did when he was at Leeds. His professionalism and experience has also been key to a youthful KR outfit.
Leeds Rhinos – Zane Tetevano – 8/10
One of the biggest coups that a Super League side was able to make was when Leeds brought in Zane Tetevano – a star that had over 100 NRL appearances under his belt. The loose-forward has made a huge impact at the Rhinos, but was hit with a four-match ban for a late shot which has somewhat tarnished the rating given. However, when he has been on the field, Tetevano has got Leeds on the front foot and made some brilliant tackles in defence.
Leigh Centurions – Nathaniel Peteru – 6/10
It’s been quite difficult to pick a standout Leigh signing considering that they are currently bottom of Super League with no wins so far. However, one forward has impressed since moving from Hull KR and that is Nathaniel Peteru. The New Zealander only made nine appearances for Rovers in 2020, but has already donned the Leigh jersey six times and has been a bright spark in an otherwise dismal season.
Salford Red Devils – Elijah Taylor – 7/10
Danny Addy could well have taken this spot had he not only played four games, so Salford’s best signing has to be Elijah Taylor. The impact that the loose-forward has on the field is clear with Taylor’s communication and destructive defence helping the Red Devils consistently in games.
St Helens – Sione Mata’utia – 8/10
Agnatius Paasi ran Sione Mata’utia close for this position, but the latter just edges it on the fact that he plays a lot more minutes for Saints. The way in which the 25-year-old has taken to his new club has been nothing short of superb and the impression he has made amongst the St Helens supporters is huge.
Wakefield Trinity – Mason Lino – 7/10
With Trinity now winning their last two games, Mason Lino’s ability has come to the fore more obviously than in the opening six games of the season. However, in those six games, the diminutive halfback did show glimpses of brilliance, but it’s his combination with skipper Jacob Miller that has been the most impressive in the past two fixtures. With an eye for an interception and great goal-kicking prowess, Lino’s impact will grow as the season goes on.
Warrington Wolves – Rob Mulhern – 6/10
This has been the hardest club to choose because Warrington only signed three players heading into 2021 – Greg Inglis, Rob Mulhern and Rob Butler. Both Inglis and Butler have played just three times for the Wolves this season, with Mulhern registering eight appearances. In those eight appearances, the prop has been a solid figure and certainly looks to be improving game-on-game.
Wigan Warriors – John Bateman – 8/10
There can be no other answer to Wigan’s best signing than John Bateman. With Jai Field injuring himself on his debut, Bateman has taken this mantle easily, but he has been fully deserving of it also. The back-rower has settled back in seamlessly at the DW Stadium after a two-year hiatus in Canberra with his attitude unchanging from the one that made him so revered amongst the terraces at Wigan.