As Super League sides gear up for the 2022 season, recruitment and retention is at its highest.
For some clubs like the Castleford Tigers and Warrington Wolves it’s a case of a brand new rebuild following the departure of their previous head coaches whilst for St Helens and Catalans Dragons it’s attempting to somehow go one better in 2022.
For others, though, with or without a new head coach, they need to improve after their 2021 seasons did not exactly go to plan. Here are the top three that must do better.
Perhaps top of the list for most in this kind of article, Hull FC started the 2021 Super League season like a house on fire. Unfortunately, that fire was dampened by injuries and then put out completely by Covid and the subsequent upheaval. Boss Brett Hodgson was in his maiden year as a head coach so he could be let off, but chairman Adam Pearson will not stand for the same again in 2022. With a host of new signings including NRL duo Joe Lovodua and Kane Evans as well as mercurial halfback Luke Gale, the signs are all pointing in the direction of improvement. It remains to be seen, however, just what kind of improvement that will be.
They had a decent 2021 Super League season it must be said; reaching the semi-finals of the play-offs after spending most of the year in the bottom half of the table was no mean feat. However, with the amount of class at Leeds’ disposal, 2022 needs to be a whole lot better. The signings of Aidan Sezer and Blake Austin will undoubtedly help, whilst the youngsters coming through such as Levi Edwards and Morgan Gannon have the world at their feet. It really all depends on who the Rhinos get as coach for next season, with Richard Agar looking to take more of a backroom role.
2021 was dismal for the Wigan Warriors in every sense of the word. They may well have reached the play-offs, but their 8-0 home loss to Leeds epitomised the poor season. Indeed, the fact that they had the worse points scored per game in Super League was enough cause for concern for chairman Ian Lenagan to part ways with Adrian Lam. His assistant coach Matt Peet has been handed the reins, with Sean O’Loughlin and Lee Briers appointed as his assistants with Shaun Wane taking a leadership role. New signings Cade Cust, Kaide Ellis and Patrick Mago will add a lot from the NRL, whilst Abbas Miski has the potential to be an electric recruit.