The former Super League stars in last ditch effort to save their careers

Pre-season is well under way on both sides of the globe with the Boxing day games nearing for UK fans and NRL clubs being deep into the process of forming their 30-man squads.

Throughout the NRL there is a system of train-and-trial contracts where players do as stated, they join clubs on $1,000-a-week contracts to earn the right to crack the squad and either start or salvage their NRL career.

This season across the 17 clubs there are a huge 109 train-and-trial players, however there’s two very familiar names for Super League fans who are seemingly in last ditch attempts to save their playing career.

It was already reported that former Hull FC man Josh Reynolds was working out with his former club Canterbury Bulldogs and their new head coach Cameron Ciraldo had explained the situation that the 33-year-old was in.

Speaking to James Graham on The Bye Round podcast, Ciraldo explained: ““Right now he’s not in the main shed with the boys. We’ve got the top 30 which is only 30 lockers and that’s in the main shed and then the train-and-trial guys are in the other shed. He’s played over a 100 games for the club, he deserves to be in that main shed but he’s with the train-and-trial guys and he’s happy to earn his spot when the time comes.”

Another former Super League playmaker is on trial and that man is Jordan Rankin, former Hull FC, Huddersfield Giants and briefly Castleford Tigers versatile back.

Rankin is only 30 but hasn’t played first class rugby since his loan spell at Castleford in 2020, since then playing in the New South Wales Cup (NRL equivalent of the Championship) for Parramatta’s feeder team.

The Eels have kept him on this train-and-trial contract with the hope that he can rediscover the form that saw him be such a dangerous player in Super League, where he made 120 appearances.

He actually remains the youngest player to ever appear in the NRL having debuted for Gold Coast Titans at just 16 years and 238 days, so while he is only 30 he has been playing at the top level for a long time which can clearly take effect.

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