Yesterday, Ian Watson confirmed that Ricky Leutele could be leaving the club at the end of 2022.
The Giants had made Leutele an offer, but with so many clubs chasing the former Melbourne and Toronto centre, Leutele has yet to sign on for next year despite the success Watson has had in building the Giants into a real force in Super League.
Now, the offer Huddersfield made the centre is no longer on the table with Watson saying: “We’ve got to a point now where we move on, Ricky hasn’t give us any indication.
“He hasn’t told us what he’s doing. We are looking at other targets so that’s done and dusted now – his agent keeps telling us he’s going somewhere else.”
The Giants have already secured the signing of Kevin Naiqama for next year whilst it looks like Toby King could turn his loan move into a permanent switch back home.
So, that’s the direction Huddersfield are headed, but what about the centre himself? We’re trying to answer that question with three Super League clubs he could join.
Since the departure of Zak Hardaker and the injury to Iain Thornley, Wigan’s options at centre have been limited. With Jake Bibby set to leave, possibly to Huddersfield as Leutele’s replacement, Wigan’s options in the role could be down to second-rowers Kai Pearce-Paul and Willie Isa, so a new centre id definitely on the menu.
Ricky Leutele’s arrival could be the final piece of the puzzle in Wigan’s exciting attack especially if they can keep Bevan French alongside Jai Field. Leutele’s physicality would punch holes in defences that Field and French could exploit.
Like Wigan, Catalans could be on the look out for a centre with Dean Whare and Samisoni Langi in the last year of their deals. Thus, Leutele could be the ideal replacement and continue the Dragons’ consistency in having experienced and effective number fours having had Israel Folau too in recent years.
That said, the natural heir to the number four shirt could be the big and powerful Matthieu Laguerre who would be unlucky if he continued to play second fiddle in terms of the centre spots.
On the face of it, centre is the last position Leeds need to strengthen. They have Harry Newman, Liam Sutcliffe and Zak Hardaker as first team options whilst Rhyse Martin can cover there whilst promising youngsters Max Simpson and Levi Edwards specialise there.
However, the rumours surrounding Liam Sutcliffe and the fact Leeds were set to sign Oliver Gildart short term which only added to the notion Sutcliffe could be headed away, led many to believe that Ricky Leutele could be headed to Headingley. The natural successor to Konrad Hurrell, he would add to Leeds’ reinvigorated offence under Rohan Smith.
That said, Sutcliffe has recently suggested that there is nothing in the rumours when speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post and Leeds would be silly to move him on after some outstanding performances recently.