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Rhyse Martin: Three teams the off-contract Leeds Rhinos star could sign for

Leeds Rhinos Rhyse Martin

Leeds Rhinos were the Super League side to confirm recruitment news for 2025 the earliest when they announced that Ryan Hall would be returning to Headingley but they need to turn their attention to retention, particularly star players such as Rhyse Martin.

Martin is one of the most reliable players in the Leeds Rhinos squad with the second-row/centre a consistent performer and also vital with the boot as well, at one time setting a Super League record for the most successful conversions in a row.

During his time at Headingley, Martin has made over 100 appearances including 25 or more in each of the last three seasons, as well as playing in all 12 games so far in 2024. During his time with the club he has racked up 912 points with the 1,000 mark looming come the end of this season.

However, if he doesn’t make it to 1,000 points in 2024 then will he have the opportunity next season? The Papua New Guinean international is off-contract and has been subject to transfer rumours, particularly from down under. If he is to leave, which team could swoop for Rhyse Martin?

Where will Leeds Rhinos’ star Rhyse Martin be playing in 2025?

Leeds Rhinos number 12 Rhyse Martin

Credit: Imago Images

Dolphins

By far the strongest transfer link is for Rhyse Martin to return down under and play for the NRL’s newest team The Dolphins. Talks of a move to the Redcliffe-based club first gained traction after Love Rugby League reported that Wayne Bennett’s side were interested in Martin.

Rohan Smith has spoken recently on the notion that Rhyse Martin could be exiting the club, with the Australian head coach providing an update on Martin and centre Luis Roberts.

He said: “[Martin and Roberts] are both works in progress at the moment with these discussions. They’ve been had by club player and an agent so we’ll update as we as we have an update.”

With no strong conviction that Martin will remain a Leeds Rhinos player, perhaps the Dolphins link is what makes the most sense for the 31-year-old’s next destination.

Leigh Leopards

Leigh would be an incredibly bold move for Martin to take and as yet there have been no suggestions that it’s a move that could be in the works. However, following Adrian Lam’s contract extension that was confirmed last night, the Leopards are now in a position to focus purely on recruitment and squad-building with the “outside noise”, as Lam described it, out of the way now his future is secure.

There are obvious PNG connections at Leigh with the likes of Edwin Ipape and father and Son duo, Adrian and Lachlan Lam, being at the club. A quota spot will be available for Leigh with the confirmed exit of John Asiata but players such as Tom Amone, Ben Nakubuwai and Ricky Leutele are all also off-contract.

Amone and Nakubuwai are of course props by trade but their exits would represent the need for additions in the pack, whilst Leutele at centre could be a like-for-like swap for Rhyse Martin. Plus if there’s any man in Super League who can shock you, it’s Derek Beaumont, and he’ll certainly be bold enough to make an attempted move for Martin.

One more year at Leeds Rhinos before a PNG NRL side emerges

Rhyse Martin

Credit: Imago Images

Plenty of the talk seeing Martin depart Leeds Rhinos is on account of him moving back down under to be the first marquee name for a Papua New Guinea NRL side. The only problem as yet, a PNG team doesn’t exist in the NRL.

However, that’s not to say that it won’t exist in the near future with talks hotting up over a PNG-based team becoming the NRL’s 18th side. Should that happen, then Martin has been touted as one of the most desirable players to kickstart the project with the 31-year-old being the most capped player for the Kumuls national side.

Martin has previously revealed that any contract talks are with his manager, but he has previously stated what a huge impact an NRL side for the island nation would have on rugby league back home. Speaking to NRL.com last year, Martin explained: “Bringing in an PNG NRL team would be amazing for everyone.

“The country has been wanting something like that for a long time and what it does is give more children and people in Papua New Guinea a greater goal of something to achieve or something to aspire to.”

Whilst that is potentially sorted, don’t be surprised if Martin rolls the dice one more time at Headingley before an exit for the 2026 season.

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