Signings can change everything. In the past we’ve seen signings prove to be the finishing touches on superb teams changing their standing in the league. Ail Lauitiiti and Marcus Bai cemented Leeds as front runners in 2004, Zak Hardaker made the Tigers terrifying in 2017 whilst Jackson Hastings turned Salford into title challengers.
But which of the many exciting signings in Super League could have a similar impact in 2022? We’re answering that with 10 signings set to take Super League by storm this year.
Tom Lineham was surprisingly let go by Warrington but with that comes the chance to shine at Wakefield. With a point to prove, the powerful yet quick ex-Wire winger compliments Tom Johnstone perfectly. Together the duo could be quite unstoppable especially based off yesterday as they poached three tries between them, Lineham’s effort coming from 90 metres out.
A big prop was exactly what Wigan needed to compliment their pack and the Warriors brought in two. Alongside Kaide Ellis, they signed Patrick Mago but Ellis was the one given the start against Hull KR and Leeds. After making the switch from the NRL, the 25-year-old has all the attributes needed to become an outstanding front-rower.
But we shouldn’t overlook the impact Mago is giving the Warriors off the bench. He devastated Leeds with explosive runs and a fantastic offload game that opened up plenty of chances for Jai Field and co. It was his impact off the bench which unlocked Wigan’s attack.
To some, Peter Mata’utia’s Warrington debut may have seemed understated, but it was full of tough metre-making carries against a dogged Rhinos side. We already knew he could bring the flashy stuff to Warrington – all the evidence you need is in last year’s Challenge Cup Final – but Saturday’s showing highlighted how he is the complete centre and can nail the tough stuff as well. He scored his first Warrington try on Thursday against the Tigers and appears set to simply improve.
We saw the energy Joey Lussick could bring to St Helens in 2022 when he poached a fantastic try against Catalans in Round One. The ideal foil to James Roby and his natural heir. Previously a star at Salford, back in Super League he could soon become one of the top nines in the competition.
Remarkably whilst Leeds were down a man against Warrington, and even when they were down two men, Aidan Sezer was able to create space for teammates even without Blake Austin alongside him. If that’s a sign of things to come, then we could all be hailing Sezer in 2022. He did have a somewhat disappointing second outing on Friday but we’ve seen what Sezer can do when at his best and if he and Austin can combine well, the pair could still take the league by storm.
Once upon a time a tormenter of Leeds Rhinos in the 2018 World Club Challenge and the heir to Cooper Cronk at Melbourne, things slowed down for Croft in the NRL but alongside Marc Sneyd and Ryan Brierley at Salford, Croft could recapture the heights he reached earlier in his career.
We already saw the extra dimension Cade Cust can bring to Wigan in 2022 when his innovative kick led to a try for Jai Field against Hull KR. After being considered more of a number 14 in the NRL, this is his chance to be a starting half and underpin the Wigan attack. With an offensive style, he should take to Super League really well.
The new main man at Huddersfield Theo Fages has already stamped his authority on the Giants according to coach Ian Watson, and is expected to only get better as he settles into his new club. Being the commander alongside exciting players like Tui Lolohea and Will Pryce, he could establish himself as one of the best halves in the league as he was at St Helens.
In the 80 minutes David Fusitu’a has played for Leeds in 2022, 50 against Hull FC in pre-season and 30 against Warrington prior to a head injury, he has provided everything Leeds needed him to. With ball in hand on kick returns he looks almost unstoppable busting tackles and getting quick play the balls. He’s also brutal in defence as we saw in Tom Briscoe’s testimonial. The only thing we’ve yet to see is the threat he could offer in space. It could be a sight to behold.