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Three Super League clubs who could sign free agent Martin Taupau

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Reports overnight suggest that one of the NRL’s most consistent performers will be on the move at the end of the season. Martin Taupau will not have his contract extended by the Brisbane Broncos and is available for transfer in 2025. The news has put Super League clubs on high alert.

Martin Taupau has played 245 NRL games in a career which started in 2010. He has scored 20 tries across spells with the Canterbury Bulldogs, Wests Tigers, Manly Sea Eagles and the Brisbane Broncos. He has also been linked persistently with a move to Super League throughout his career.

According to reports, Taupau’s salary is a significant factor, with the New Zealand and Samoa international currently earning around £180,000 a year on his current deal. But this is unlikely to put off Super League clubs eager to add a player of his calibre to their forward pack.

With Taupau hitting the market again, we look at which clubs could be in the running to finally bring him to the Super League.

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Leeds Rhinos

Super League Ash Handley

Credit: Imago Images

It seems like Leeds Rhinos have been linked with Martin Taupau forever. Rumours first started to emerge in around 2015, when Taupau was part of a New Zealand side which travelled to the UK to play a friendly at Headingley. Ever since, every time Taupau’s contract has been running down, Leeds’ name has been mentioned.

Taupau is open to the idea of a move to the UK, as he has come close on several occasions. From Leeds’ perspective, it is not impossible either. David Fusitu’a’s expected departure opens up a quota spot, with his space in the squad being taken by Ryan Hall. Leeds’ pack has lacked power at times this season, which signing Taupau would resolve.

He would also add experience to a side which has lacked leadership, with players such as Tom Holroyd, Justin Sangare and Mik Oledzki lacking the sort of nous which a seasoned international like Taupau has.

Could this close season finally be the time for the longest running will they, won’t they since Ross and Rachel to finally happen? Stranger things have happened.

Leigh Leopards

Leigh Leopards coach Adrian Lam

Credit: Imago Images

Hull FC have been the most active side in the transfer market recently, and this has mainly come at Leigh Leopards’ expense. Leigh will have to enter the market in a big way in the coming weeks to replace some of their departing stars and Taupau could be a perfect addition to their squad.

Overseas seats John Asiata, Tom Amone and Kai O’Donnell will all leave the club at the end of the season, which frees up several quota spots for Leigh to use. Derek Beaumont has committed to spending the salary cap, with all marquee spots, so Leigh are open for business

Aaron Pene looks set to join the club for the rest of 2024 and beyond, but this still leaves Leigh with plenty to do. With Asiata, Amone and O’Donnell leaving, Leigh are not just losing powerful forwards, but players with significant experience and leadership.

Taupau would add both of those to the Leigh pack. He would be a solid addition to build a new forward pack around.

Castleford Tigers

Castleford Tigers boss Craig Lingard

Credit: Imago Images

Castleford Tigers fans were in open revolt after last weekend’s defeat against Leeds. One of the criticisms that is repeatedly thrown at the side is that they lack power in their forward pack. Castleford remain incredibly reliant on Liam Watts who, at 33, can’t stay on the pitch for 80 minutes anymore.

The Tigers were reportedly interested in bringing in ex-Leigh Leopards forward, Ben Nakubuwai on a mid-season loan deal, before he suffered an injury. Nakubuwai has since joined Featherstone Rovers for the remainder of the season, meaning their hunt for a forward goes on.

If the Tigers want to bring in a forward to lift their pack, they could do a lot worse than signing Taupau. He still packs a punch when carrying the ball in, and would add some much needed go forward to the Tigers pack. Whilst his salary may be an obstacle, Castleford should seriously consider making a move for the veteran forward.

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