Rugby league transfer fees have come a long way since the £100 paid for James Lomas in 1901. But it is also interesting to note that big money rugby league transfers have tapered off since Sam Tomkins’ £700,000 transfer in 2013. That is not to say that the game has become dull. On the contrary, rugby league games have become explosive and charged affairs that are much fun to watch.
Big transfers can pay off for some teams when these players lead their new teams to victories and trophies. There are many rugby league transfer specials you can predict on bookies like the ones at this website. Here are the biggest transfers in rugby so far…
Ellery Hanley – £250,000 (1991)
That figure is around £540,000 in today’s value. Hanley started playing in centre and wing roles before playing stand-off and loose forward roles. His professional career saw him play for Bradford, Western Suburbs, Northern, Wigan, and Leeds. His biggest transfer fees were from Wigan to Leeds in 1991, which broke English rugby records.
His nickname was Mr. Magic or the Black Pearl. Hanley was the English rugby team captain between 1988-1992 and won 36 caps for the national team. Hanley’s illustrious career saw him get the Golden Boo (1988), the Man of Steel award three times, and the Lance Todd Trophy. He was awarded MBE and inducted into the Rugby Football League Hall of Fame.
Martin Offiah – £440,000 (1992)
Offiah was transferred from Widnes to Wigan for about £900,000 in today’s value. He played for Widnes, Wigan, London Broncos, and Salford. His move to Wigan was the costliest at the time and held the record for another three years.
Offiah was the highest-scoring rugby player of all time during his career, and at his retirement in 2001, he ranked third worldwide. He got the Man of Steel award in 1987 in his first season. He went on to get the Lance Todd trophy twice. He was inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame in 2013.
Paul Newlove – £500,000 (1995)
Newlove’s transfer from Bradford Bulls to St. Helens was worth around £968,000 in today’s value. The deal was £250,000 in cash plus first-team players Paul Loughlin, Bernard Dwyer, and Sonny Nickle. He played as a centre for the league club as well as the English and Great Britain teams. Newlove was featured in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. He had started his international role at the age of 24 years in 1989 in a game against New Zealand. He went on to win 16 Great Britain caps and six English team caps.
Stuart Fielden- £450,000 (2006)
Fielden transferred from Bradford Bulls to Wigan what would be £656,000 today. Fielden remains one of the most prolific international forwards for the Great Britain rugby league team. During his stint with Bradford Bulls, the team won the Super League Championship in 2001,2002, and 2005. He also won the World Club Championship in 2002, 2004, and 2006.
Fielder also won the Super League Championship again in 2010 after transferring to Wigan. He later transferred to Huddersfield and retired due to injury. Fielden was named Younger Player of the Year in 2000 and International Best Forward in 2005. He has also been named in four International Dream Teams.
Sam Tomkins – £700,000 (2013)
Tomkins’s transfer fee from Wigan to New Zealand warriors remains the biggest at about £808,000 today. Tomkins signed with Wigan in 2007. He made his debut in the Challenge Cup in 2008. He made history in debut by being the first rugby league player to make five tries as a first-grade debutante.
Tomkins won the Super League Championship 2010, 2013, and 2018 with Wigan. He also won the Challenge Cup in 2011 and 2013. He was the choice Stand-off for Wigan but later switched to Fullback. He also occasionally played scrum-half.
Tomkins has also been an impressive international player. In his international debut for England in 2009, he scored a hat trick against wales. He is one of the two people who have made the most tries in a single match, a record he set in 2010 in a test match against France. Tomkins has 23 international caps for the English rugby league team.
Rugby league fans can now bet on their favourite rugby league teams online. There is a wide variety of gambling markets and options. Best of all is that you can pick your best bets on your phone. There are plenty of bonuses to sweeten your bets as well.