Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and Hull KR have all announced major signings for 2024 but all Super League clubs, and namely Leigh Leopards, Salford Red Devils and St Helens have faced a real battle to keep their star players.
This is because transfers and signings are always a double edged sword. Not only do you have to lose players to sign players, but often the channels used for recruitment can often come back and hurt you.
Leigh may be the best example. They took plenty of unwanted NRL stars and turned them into world beaters only for those same world beaters to now be chased by NRL clubs.
That is the symbiotic relationship between Super League and the NRL that exists. Super League clubs will always look to boost their squad with NRL stars but NRL clubs will also snap up the top Super League stars.
We have seen Hull KR draft in Peta Hiku and Oliver Gildart from the NRL, we have seen Warrington Wolves beat off interest from four other clubs to sign Newcastle Knights star Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Wigan Warriors are bringing Kruise Leeming back to Super League and now Leeds Rhinos are linked with Danny Levi.
But we have also seen Aidan Sezer linked with Wests Tigers along with Salford Red Devils star Brodie Croft.
Jake Clifford has already been lost to North Queensland Cowboys in 2024 and there are NRL clubs knocking on the door for Lachlan Lam at Leigh Leopards.
However he isn’t the only star at the Leigh Sports Village attracting interest from NRL clubs.
We have seen St George Illawarra Dragons come knocking for Edwin Ipape at hooker and now another star at Leigh is attracting interest from down under and that is skipper John Asiata.
The loose-forward has been an exceptional signing since joining the club last year and has gone on to skipper the side.
He could even lead them to silverware they way things are currently going at the club which is truly amazing given he was playing in the Championship a year ago with the then Leigh Centurions.
According to the notorious Mole down under Asiata has attracted offers from three NRL clubs in recent weeks.
“There is one club in Queensland and two in New South Wales that are interested in John,” his manager Pierre Tannous told Wide World of Sports.
“His form in England has been very good but he feels it is time to come home.”
However, Leigh Leopards owner Derek Beaumont has firmly shut down these suggestions on social media saying:
“John is contracted and I wouldn’t accept a million quid for him. Anyone reading anything around players leaving I can guarantee you it will be nonsense as nobody is for sale!”
He also revealed that talks are on going between themselves and Asiata about extending:
“John going nowhere loves it at our club not for sale not for any price! Talking with John to extend certainly not leave!”