Ranking the ten best signings ever made in Super League

Super League teams sign a number of players each year with differing success.

Whilst some signings fail to settle at their new clubs, others take to their new colours with incredible ease.

Here are the ten best signings in Super League history.

10. Brett Hodgson

A Man of Steel at Huddersfield, Brett Hodgson moved to Warrington ahead of the 2011 season and hit the ground running immediately. 75 games later, the fullback had scored 39 tries and kicked 314 goals, helping them to Challenge Cup glory in 2012 as well as the League Leaders’ Shield in 2011. Hodgson was awarded the Lance Todd trophy in the Challenge Cup Final and was also part of the Warrington side that made back-to-back Grand Finals, though they lost both.

9. Keith Senior

Signing from Sheffield Eagles ahead of the 1999 season, Keith Senior never looked back on his way to the top. 171 tries in 365 appearances later and the centre had become one of Leeds’ most important three-quarters in the modern game. Senior’s impact at the West Yorkshire club was such that he held the records for the most Super League appearances (413) and tries (199) until he was overtaken in 2012. Senior won four Grand Finals and one World Club Challenge with the club.

8. Pat Richards

Have Wigan had an overseas signing as much loved as Pat Richards in the modern game? Probably not and here’s why; the rangy winger joined in 2006 and left at the end of 2013, with almost 2,500 points and nearly 250 appearances later. In that time, Richards won the 2010 and 2013 Super League Grand Finals as well as the 2011 Challenge Cup. Individually, however, his achievements were incredible; he was awarded the Man of Steel in 2010 and became the highest overseas points-scorer in the competition’s history.

7. Tommy Leuluai

One man that is almost a shoo-in alongside Richards for one of the most favourite adopted Wiganer is Tommy Leuluai. Signing from Harlequins RL ahead of the 2007 season, the halfback became an instant hit in Lancashire, helping to steer Wigan to a Grand Final victory in 2010 and then a Challenge Cup success a year later. Though the Kiwi left to join New Zealand Warriors in 2013, Leuluai returned in 2017 like the prodigal son, winning a second Super League title in 2018. He is still a major star in the Warriors side, having been made captain ahead of the 2021 season – though the captaincy has not yet been announced for 2022.

6. Kylie Leuluai

Kylie Leuluai moved to England – and more specifically Leeds – ahead of the 2007 season after being a bit-part player in the NRL. Aged 29, the Kiwi enforcer would become one of Leeds’ greatest ever overseas signings. Over the period of nine seasons, the former Manly forward won six Grand Final titles, two World Club Challenges and two Challenge Cups to make him the most successful overseas player in Leeds’ history. Leuluai made an impressive 258 appearances in a Rhinos shirt and scored 22 tries. In every season after 2011, the forward announced that he would retire at the end of that year, only to reverse his plans and continue on into the next season. It was 2015 when Kylie finally hung up his boots after revealing that he had played that season with an irregular heartbeat.

5. Lee Briers

You would be forgiven in thinking that maverick Lee Briers began and ended his career with Warrington. However, you would be mistaken, with the halfback signing from St Helens in 1997. Briers underlined his credentials as Warrington’s best Super League players over the course of 16 years. More than 2,500 points and 425 games later, the Welsh international retired in 2013 due to a neck injury having guided the Wolves to three Challenge Cup victories.

4. Sean Long

A cult hero in St Helens, Sean Long moved from Widnes midway through the 1997 season, racking up 124 tries and 812 goals over a period of 12 years. A Man of Steel winner in 2000, the halfback claimed four Super League titles, six Challenge Cups and two World Club Challenges in his time at Knowsley Road. Ever the opportunist, Long could change the game in a matter of seconds. He is now the assistant coach of Leeds Rhinos.

3. Paul Sculthorpe

Sculthorpe signed for St Helens from Warrington Wolves ahead of the 1998 season and went on to become a club legend. He made over 250 appearances for the club, helping them to four Super League titles, five Challenge Cups and two World Club Challenges. Sculthorpe also won the Man of Steel award back-to-back in 2001 and 2002, becoming the first player to ever do so. Sculthorpe has also been given an MBE.

2. Jamie Lyon

He was at Saints for just two seasons, but Jamie Lyon’s impact was momentous. Signing from NRL side Parramatta Eels ahead of the 2005 season, the centre settled in seamlessly, winning the Man of Steel in that year with 22 tries and 42 goals. Lyon was critical in Saints’ treble-winning success the following season too, scoring 22 tries and kicking 163 goals in just 32 matches. He returned to the NRL at the end of 2006, but his mark had been well and truly left.

1. Jamie Peacock

Jamie Peacock joined the club he supported as a boy – Leeds – in 2006 from bitterest rivals Bradford. Whilst with the Rhinos, Peacock won six Super League titles, two Challenge Cups and two World Club Challenges and, by 2012, his contribution to the sport had received national attention – he was awarded an MBE that year. Over the course of ten seasons, Peacock registered 26 tries in 272 appearances, one of which included his 500th career appearance in summer 2014.

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