A strong 17 is of course important, but it’s often the side with the strongest squad which wins the trophies at the end of the year.
The ability to cover key positions when injuries and suspensions occur is invaluable as being able to do so can keeps sides competitive at the top all season long. So, with that in mind, we’ve rated every side’s squad depth going into 2022.
Castleford: 1 Niall Evalds, 2 Derrell Olpherts, 3 Jordan Turner, 4 Jake Mamo, 5 Bureta Faraimo, 6 Jake Trueman, 7 Danny Richardson, 8 Liam Watts, 9 Paul McShane, 10 George Lawler, 11 Kenny Edwards, 12 Adam Milner, 13 Joe Westerman, 14 Nathan Massey, 15 George Griffin, 16 Callum McLelland, 17 Mahe Fonua, 18 Jacques O’Neill, 19 Tyla Hepi, 20 James Clare, 21 Alex Sutcliffe, 22 Daniel Smith, 23 Greg Eden, 24 Cheyse Blair, 25 Suaia Matagi, 27 Lewis Peachey, 28 Brad Martin, 29 Sam Hall, 30 S0saia Feki, 31 Gareth O’Brien, 32 Cain Robb, 33 Jason Qareqare, 34 Jack Sadler, 35 Nathan Carter, 36 Mackenzie Scurr.
Castleford’s squad in 2022 could rival their 2017 squad as their best in Super League history, I suppose time will tell but this Tigers squad certainly has impressive depth. Beyond their first choice outside backs they have Mahe Fonua, James Clare, Alex Sutcliffe, Greg Eden and youngsters like Jason Qareqare to cover the backline. On top of that, they have an impressive selection of four halves in the shape of Jake Trueman, Gareth O’Brien, Danny Richardson and Callum McLelland. However, it’s down the middle that the Tigers have superb depth. Beyond squad numbers 8-13, they have Nathan Massey, George Griffin, Daniel Smith, Cheyse Blair and Suaia Matagi along with others like Sutcliffe who is one of Cas’ many versatile players who can cover a number of positions. Perhaps one area the Tigers could worry about is what they would do should Niall Evalds gets injured. Jake Mamo might be the wisest option but he has been open about how much he enjoys playing centre.
Catalans: 1 Arthur Mourgue, 2 Tom Davies, 3 Samisoni Langi, 4 Dean Whare, 5 Fouad Yaha, 6 Mitchell Pearce, 7 Josh Drinkwater, 8 Gil Dudson, 9 Michael McIlorum, 10 Julian Bousquet, 11 Matt Whitley, 12 Mike McMeeken, 13 Ben Garcia, 14 Alrix Da Costa, 15 Benjamin Jullien, 16 Paul Seguier, 17 Mickael Goudemand, 18 Matthieu Laguerre, 19 Arthur Romano, 20 Tyrone May, 21 Corentin Le Cam, 22 Dylan Napa, 23 Jordan Dezaria, 24 Mathieu Cozza, 25 Cesar Rouge, 26 Romain Franco, 27 Joe Chan, 28 Sam Kasiano, 29 Sam Tomkins, 30 Florian Vailhen.
Concerningly for the rest of the league, Catalans perhaps have an even stronger squad this year than last. The arrival of Dylan Napa and Tyrone May give the Dragons further depth in key areas whilst Mitchell Pearce fills the hole left by James Maloney. The impressive crop of youngsters at Steve McNamara’s disposal means they have cover across the board with Matthieu Laguerre capable of filling in anywhere across the backline and Arthur Mourgue, although injured now, is the perfect cover for the spine. They also have two solid hookers and a fearsome set of forwards.
Huddersfield: 1 Will Pryce, 2 Jermaine McGillvary, 3 Jake Wardle, 4 Ricky Leutele, 5 Ashton Golding, 6 Tui Lolohea, 7 Theo Fages, 8 Chris Hill, 9 Danny Levi, 10 Michael Lawrence, 11 Josh Jones, 12 Chris McQueen, 13 Luke Yates, 14 Matty English, 15 Joe Greenwood, 16 Jack Cogger, 17 Owen Trout, 18 Sebastine Ikahihifo, 19 Adam O’Brien, 20 Oliver Wilson, 21 Leroy Cudjoe, 22 Louis Senior, 23 Olly Russell, 24 Ollie Roberts, 25 Innes Senior, 26 Nathan Mason, 27 Jack Ashworth, 28 Robson Stevens, 29 Sam Hewitt, 30 Jon Luke Kirby, 31 Olly Ashall-Bott, 32 Fenton Rogers, 33 Aidan McGowan, 34 Kieran Rush, 35 George Roby, 36 Chester Butler.
Last season I gave Huddersfield a near perfect score in terms of squad depth but ultimately their squad was undone by injuries throughout the season. Once again, the Giants appear to have a strong squad on paper but they’ll be hoping that translates to on field success. Importantly, they have five players capable of playing in the halves as well as four players capable of featuring at fullback. With two quality number nines too, they have impressive cover in the key positions whilst the return of Sebastine Ikahihifo and Nathan Mason gives them further depth down the middle. However, one area the Giants might struggle is across the backline. Ashton Golding has the number five shirt but has never consistently played on the wing. Beyond squad numbers 2-5 they do have a number of options but it leaves a lot of pressure on young players like the Senior brothers and Olly Ashall-Bott who it has to be said is more of a fullback anyway. A few injuries and Ian Watson could be naming two fullbacks on the wing.
Hull FC: 1 Jake Connor, 2 Adam Swift, 3 Carlos Tuimavave, 4 Josh Griffin, 5 Darnell McIntosh, 6 Josh Reynolds, 7 Luke Gale, 8 Ligi Sao, 9 Danny Houghton, 10 Chris Satae, 11 Andre Savelio, 12 Manu Ma’u, 13 Jordan Lane, 14 Joe Lovodua, 15 Joe Cator, 16 Kane Evans, 17 Brad Fash, 19 Ben McNamara, 20 Jack Brown, 21 Jordan Johnstone, 22 Josh Bowden, 23 Connor Wynne, 24 Cameron Scott, 25 Mitieli Vulikijapani, 26 Marcus Walker, 27 Jacob Hookem, 28 Aiden Burrell, 29 Jamie Shaul, 30 Scott Taylor.
The area Hull FC can be ecstatic about is their squad depth down the middle. Last season the Black and Whites had to overly rely on Ligi Sao and Chris Satae at prop during Scott Taylor’s injury. So the arrival of Kane Evans adds further depth to a key position. They also have two fantastic 13s in the shape of Joe Cator and Jordan Lane whilst the likes of Brad Fash offer further depth. It’s in the backs Hull might worry a touch. Beyond Josh Reynolds and Luke Gale, they have limited options in the halves. Ben McNamara is a good option but besides him Brett Hodgson may be forced to move Jake Connor. At least the club can trust in their fullback cover with Jamie Shaul more than capable of filling in.
Hull KR: 1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Ben Crooks, 3 Brad Takairangi, 4 Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 5 Ryan Hall, 7 Jordan Abdull, 8 Albert Vete, 9 Matt Parcell, 10 George King, 11 Dean Hadley, 12 Kane Linnett, 13 Matty Storton, 14 Jez Litten, 15 Luis Johnson, 16 Korbin Sims, 17 Elliot Minchella, 18 Jimmy Keinhorst, 19 Will Dagger, 20 Mikey Lewis, 21 Rowan Milnes, 22 Will Maher, 23 Ethan Ryan, 24 Sam Wood, 25 Greg Richards, 26 Tom Garratt, 27 Frankie Halton, 28 Will Tate, 29 Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e, 30 Charlie Cavanaugh, 31 Connor Moore, 32 Daniel Okoro, 33 Max Kirkbright.
Hull KR have three outstanding halfbacks at their disposal in the shape of Jordan Abdull, Mikey Lewis and Rowan Milnes. However, in the same vein as their city rivals, they have little cover beyond that trio so an injury to two of those could culminate in someone like Brad Takairangi moving into the halves. Speaking of Takairangi, he and others provide outstanding depth along the outside backs. Beyond the squad numbers 2-5 they have Jimmy Keinhorst, Ethan Ryan and Sam Wood who can step into the backline. As for the pack, the return of Elliot Minchella is like a new signing and he’ll add further depth. However, there might be a concern if one or two injuries arise.
Leeds: 1 Jack Walker, 2 David Fusitu’a, 3 Harry Newman, 4 Liam Sutcliffe, 5 Ash Handley, 6 Blake Austin, 7 Aidan Sezer, 8 Mikolaj Oledzki, 9 Kruise Leeming, 10 Matt Prior, 11 James Bentley, 12 Rhyse Martin, 13 Zane Tetevano, 14 Brad Dwyer, 15 Alex Mellor, 16 Richie Myler, 17 Cameron Smith, 18 Tom Holroyd, 19 Bodene Thompson, 20 Tom Briscoe, 21 Morgan Gannon, 22 Sam Walters, 23 Jack Broadbent, 24 Jarrod O’Connor, 25 James Donaldson, 26 Corey Johnson, 27 Muizz Mustapha, 28 Max Simpson, 29 Liam Tindall, 30 Levi Edwards, 31 Oli Field, 32 Jack Sinfield.
The Rhinos’ squad was stretched to its limits in 2021 due to injuries so much so they were forced to field more youngsters than they might have expected. That experience has made the likes of Morgan Gannon, Jack Broadbent, Jarrod O’Connor and others reliable cover. Once again, a concern may hinge around the halfbacks. Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer are a superb partnership but a couple of injuries and they may be forced to play Kruise Leeming or 17-year-old Jack Sinfield in the role. There might be a worry at prop with Tom Holroyd already out injured for 12 weeks. With only Mikolaj Oledzki, Matt Prior and Zane Tetevano as the only remaining natural props to pick from – Muizz Mustapha will be out on loan at Bradford – this could be an area that is stretched to its breaking point throughout the year as it was last year.
Salford: 1 Ryan Brierley, 2 Ken Sio, 3 Kallum Watkins, 4 Tim Lafai, 5 Joe Burgess, 6 Brodie Croft, 7 Marc Sneyd, 8 Sitaleki Akauola, 9 Andy Ackers, 10 Greg Burke, 11 Shane Wright, 12 James Greenwood, 13 Elijah Taylor, 14 Danny Addy, 15 King Vuniyayawa, 16 Ryan Lannon, 17 Harvey Livett, 18 Chris Atkin, 19 Jack Ormondroyd, 20 Jack Wells, 21 Josh Johnson, 22 Rhys Williams, 23 Dan Sarginson, 24 Matt Costello, 25 Morgan Escare, 26 Sam Luckley, 27 Amir Bourouh, 28 Deon Cross.
Looking at the squad, one the face of it Salford’s is much smaller than most others in the league with just 28 players named. That said there is some notable quality in Paul Rowley’s squad which could very well guide the Red Devils into a play-off battle that many people have already written them out of. In terms of backs, Salford have a superb set of options with the likes of Rhys Williams, Dan Sarginson, Morgan Escare and Deon Cross capable of stepping in. Meanwhile, Chris Atkin gives good cover for the pivots whilst the Red Devils have a number of forwards to provide their starting pack with solid cover. Ultimately, a good squad with lots of quality, with just 28 players named their depth has to be considered not quite as strong as some of their rivals. However, if they can keep their players fit this might not matter.
St Helens: 1 Jack Welsby, 2 Tommy Makinson, 3 Will Hopoate, 4 Mark Percival, 5 Regan Grace, 6 Jonny Lomax, 7 Lewis Dodd, 8 Alex Walmsley, 9 James Roby, 10 Matty Lees, 11 Sione Mata’utia, 12 Joe Batchelor, 13 Morgan Knowles, 14 Joey Lussick, 15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 16 Curtis Sironen, 17 Agnatius Paasi, 18 Kyle Amor, 19 Jake Wingfield, 20 James Bell, 21 Josh Simm, 22 Ben Davies, 23 Konrad Hurrell, 24 Dan Norman, 25 Matty Foster, 26 Sam Royale, 27 Jon Bennison, 28 Lewis Baxter, 29 Danny Hill, 30 Jumah Sambou, 31Taylor Pemberton.
St Helens have had the best squad in Super League for the last four years, and it seems they may do so again in 2022. Beyond their starting 13 they have players like Joey Lussick, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Curtis Sironen, Agnatius Paais, James Bell and Konrad Hurrell who would be in the starting 13 in most other Super League squad. Beyond that, they have some outstanding youngsters like Jake Wingfield who will continue their development in 2022 and fill in when injury or suspension dictate and, based on the record of previous youngsters to ply their trade at Saints, they won’t let anyone down. The only area of concern may be the halves with little cover beyond Jonny Lomax and Lewis Dodd. Injury to either would cause a shift around with Jack Welsby likely stepping in.
Toulouse: 1 Mark Kheirallah, 2 Latrell Schaumkel, 3 Junior Vaivai, 4 Mathieu Jussaume, 5 Paul Marcon, 7 Lucas Albert, 8 Romain Navarrete, 9 Lloyd White, 10 Harrison Hansen, 11 Andrew Dixon, 12 Dominique Peyroux, 13 Anthony Marion, 14 Eloi Pelissier, 15 Maxime Puech, 16 Joseph Bretherton, 17 Joseph Paulo, 18 Mitch Garbutt, 19 James Cunningham, 20 Ilias Bergal, 21 Chris Hankinson, 22 Gadwin Springer, 23 Justin Sangare, 24 Guy Armitage, 25 Matty Russell, 26 Hugo Pezet, 31 Tony Gigot.
Toulouse’s squad is undergoing some turbulence going into 2022 with Johnathan Ford leaving for “personal and family reasons.” There is also speculation around other members of the squad due to the strict restrictions in place in France for those unvaccinated. Star player Mark Kheirallah has been rumoured to be on his way out because of this but there has been no confirmation. Already with a small now 26-man squad, this extra strain throws further question marks over the squad depth they’ll boast in 2022.
Wakefield: 1 Max Jowitt, 2 Tom Johnstone, 3 Bill Tupou, 4 Reece Lyne, 5 Tom Lineham, 6 Jacob Miller, 7 Mason Lino, 8 Eddie Battye, 9 Liam Hood, 10 Tinirau Arona, 11 Matty Ashurst, 12 Kelepi Tanginoa, 13 Jay Pitts, 14 Jordy Crowther, 15 Jai Whitbread, 16 James Batchelor, 17 Lee Gaskell, 18 Lee Kershaw, 19 Liam Kay, 20 Jack Croft, 21 Brad Walker, 22 Yusuf Aydin, 23 Sid Adebiyi, 24 Harry Bowes, 25 Sam Eseh, 26 Pat O’Donovan, 27 Lewis Murphy, 28 Dane Windrow, 29 Isaac Shaw, 30 Corey Hall, 35 David Fifita.
Wakefield finished last season incredibly strongly and with some fantastic signings going into 2022, they could be a dark horse for the play-offs. They certainly have a strong squad with guys like Lee Kershaw, Liam Kay and Corey Hall providing cover across the backs whilst Lee Gaskell acts as the ideal cover for fullback and the halves. They also have an assortment of good backrowers such as new boy Jai Whitbread. There may be a concern at prop with few out and out props in Wakefield’s squad.
Warrington: 1 Stefan Ratchford, 2 Josh Charnley, 3 Peter Mata’utia, 4 Toby King, 5 Matty Ashton, 6 Gareth Widdop, 7 George Williams, 8 Joe Philbin, 9 Daryl Clark, 10 Mike Cooper, 11 Ben Currie, 12 Oliver Holmes, 13 Jack Hughes, 14 Jason Clark, 15 Joe Bullock, 16 Danny Walker, 17 Matty Davis, 18 Billy Magoulias, 19 Ro Mulhern, 20 James Harrison, 21 Greg Minikin, 22 Josh Thewlis, 23 Connor Wrench, 24 Ellis Longstaff, 25 Ellis Robson, 26 Rob Butler, 27 Riley Dean, 28 Eribe Doro, 29 Jacob Gannon, 30 Morgan Burgess, 31 Tom Whitehead.
Warrington traditionally have a strong squad and do so again under new boss Daryl Powell. Their options across the back are perhaps the strongest in the league with Greg Minikin, Josh Thewlis and Connor Wrench all acting as cover. The trio are all very capable with the two youngsters playing plenty of minutes in 2021 and not letting anyone down. They have an abundance of props with Joe Bullock and Billy Magoulias providing added depth in that area and their backrowers are superb with Matty Davis unlucky to drop two squad numbers. They even have two outstanding hookers. There might be some concerns however over who would step into the halves if either George Williams or Gareth Widdop picked up an injury.
Wigan: 1 Bevan French, 2 Jake Bibby, 3 Zak Hardaker, 4 Iain Thornley, 5 Liam Marshall, 6 Cade Cust, 7 Thomas Leuluai, 8 Brad Singleton, 9 Sam Powell, 10 Patrick Mago, 11 Willie Isa, 12 Liam Farrell, 13 John Bateman, 14 Morgan Smithies, 15 Kaide Ellis, 16 Harry Smith, 17 Oliver Partington, 19 Ethan Havard, 20 Liam Byrne, 21 Kai Pearce-Paul, 22 Joe Shorrocks, 23 Jai Field, 24 Abbas Miski, 25 Sam Halsall, 26 James McDonnell, 27 Umyla Hanley, 28 Brad O’Neill, 29 Alex Sutton, 30 Matty Nicholson, 31 Ramon Silva.
Wigan certainly won’t have the same issue in the halves in 2022. Beyond Cade Cust and Thomas Leuluai they also have Harry Smith and Jai Field as options the latter of which could easily step in at fullback as well. In terms of options in the backs they have Abbas Miski, Sam Halsall and Umyla Hanley giving they solid cover. They’ve also worked hard to add depth to the pack with three props signed in the shape of Patrick Mago, Kaide Ellis and Ramon Silva. This gives the Warriors a squad full of depth. The bigger question will ultimately be whether or not these signings can perform in new surroundings.