Seven Championship players stepping up to Super League in 2020

While most fans will be focusing on the big names joining Super League next year, there is plenty of new talent joining from Championship sides.

Here are our picks for the best bits of business done so far:

Ethan Ryan (Bradford to Hull KR)

A fan’s favourite at Odsal, the Bradford academy product has repaid the loyalty to the club, but a move to the top flight has long-seemed inevitable. It’ll be interesting to see if he can carry on his form from the lower divisions and remain a one-man highlight-reel on Humberside. If Hull KR fans weren’t excited already, digging out the video of that assist against Rochdale should do the trick.

Matty Ashton (Swinton to Warrington)

Swinton have caused some big teams problems this year, and that has been in large part thanks to the emergence of the 21-year-old fullback. In his first season, Ashton was named the Championship’s Young Player of the Year with an outstanding record of 30 tries in 25 games.  It’s not surprising that clubs were queuing up to sign the former Rochdale Mayfield man whose lightening pace will cause havoc in the top flight.

Tyla Hepi (Toulouse to Castleford)

The 25-year-old forward says he’s taken the “long way round” in his career to find a return to Super League. He has some experience from his time with Hull KR, but after leaving Craven Park he had been passed between clubs before finding some stability over the past four years in Toulouse. With a point to prove, he should be an ideal replacement for Mitch Clark.

Connor Jones (Featherstone to Salford)

The Australian hooker will move to the AJ Bell following a short but impressive spell with Featherstone. The 24-year-old came through the system at the Canterbury Bulldogs, before playing for Northern Pride ahead of his switch to the UK. He made an immediate impact for Fev, and was crucial in the side’s surprise play-off push.

Connor Jones has signed a two-year deal with Salford.

Anthony Gelling (Widnes to Warrington)

After sticking with Widnes following their relegation in 2018, the Super League winner returns to the top flight with Warrington. The self-styled Man of the People comes with plenty of big game experience and, despite being one of those who inflicted Wire to another Grand Final loss in 2016, he’s already said he’s hoping he can be the club’s saviour this time around.

Elliot Minchella (Bradford to Hull KR)

Minchella has enjoyed another strong season at Odsal, named both coaches’ and players’ player of the year, and is much more well-prepared for the top-flight than when he made his Leeds debut in 2013. Whether at second row, stand-off or loose, the Bradfordian has impressed this year and Hull KR may well have benefitted from another troubled off-season for the Bulls.

Chester Butler (Halifax to Huddersfield)

The backrower and centre moved to the Giants once Halifax were out of play-off contention, but only recently turned full-time. Butler came through Fax’s academy after starting league relatively late, but Woolford was impressed with his versatility. With the advantage of the extra couple of months with the squad, he should be raring to go ahead of next season.

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