Halfbacks are perhaps the most important position in a Super League side and the success of many of the greatest teams has been founded on halfbacks whether it has been Leeds Rhinos and the Golden Generation led by Kevin Sinfield, Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow, Wigan Warriors led by Thomas Leuluai or indeed St Helens and Sean Long, the best teams have been led by top halfbacks.
However, since the golden generation, halfbacks have been an area Leeds have struggled to find the right formula. In 2022 they brought in a new pairing signing Blake Austin from Warrington Wolves and Aidan Sezer from Huddersfield Giants.
The two have been exceptional at times but have blown hot and cold. They came after Leeds signed the likes of Kyle Eastmond, Luke Gale after winning the Man of Steel at Castleford Tigers, Rob Lui from Salford Red Devils, Tui Lolohea and Richie Myler which all had varying degrees of success.
At the end of this year Austin and Sezer are both out of contract. The future of Austin is unclear but Sezer appears headed home.
So, Leeds will need a new halfback for 2024 and who could they sign?
A halfback linked with many Super League clubs last year, the Wests Tigers scrumhalf has reportedly been told he can leave. He would be a terrific signing for the club and provide some direction. He has international experience with Fiji.
There have been reports that a player Rohan Smith knows well has become an option for the Rhinos. The Toulouse Olympique star and Wales international would be a surprise signing.
Though these rumours were shot down by Rohan Smith, they came from somewhere. He would provide Leeds with experience and guidance as they develop Jack Sinfield.
A man previously linked with Leeds and a halfback set to leave the Canterbury Bulldogs, Leeds could try and make another play for the former Sydney Roosters man.
Perhaps more at home at fullback, but Laurie would also be a fine option in the halves having played there this year for the Wests Tigers. He would be one of Super League’s most dangerous attackers.
Reportedly offered to Super League clubs, the Grand Final winning halfback would be the ideal foil to Blake Austin if he signed for the West Yorkshire club.