Top Five Signings
Are these the top five signings for the 2020 Super League season?
A difficult list to choose with Super League clubs making some of the top signings from overseas and rival clubs, this list is a story of the half-backs with four out of five plying their trade in their halves.
Plus, arguably, the biggest signing in Super League’s history as Toronto Wolfpack sign one of the greatest names in the sporting world.
Sonny Bill Williams
The much-anticipated signing of Sonny Bill Williams seemed to be in the pipeline for a while, with stories breaking periodically, and the realistic chance of Sonny Bill’s transfer to Toronto Wolfpack seemed to draw closer and closer with the rumours that Brian McDermott had met with the superstar at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The club announced the signing of the second rower and had a glamourous unveiling at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium with a view to growing the game in the United Kingdom and North America.
He said to CNN: “When you take into account North America and Canada, the sporting hub that is Toronto – if Rugby League can take off there, I see doors opening for youngsters from New Zealand, from the Polynesian community, from young English lads being able to have another pathway for success for themselves and their family.
“It’s a very special and exciting time.”
Huddersfield Giants needed a marquee signing someone that was going to get their fans excited for 2020 season, and Aidan Sezer was the perfect signing for the club, in need of another half, after 2019 flop, Matt Frawley was allowed to leave the club.
Sezer comes to Super League with top class pedigree, he helped guide Canberra Raiders to the 2019 NRL Grand Final, albeit they lost to Sydney Roosters but not without a hell of a fight.
James Maloney heads to the south of France coming to the end of an illustrious career but it’s not his retirement plan. The 33-year-old featured in Game 2 and 3 in the 2019 State of Origin for New South Wales and helped them to their first back-to-back series win since 2015.
Catalans Dragons announced the signing of Maloney for three years from Penrith Panthers, he said: “I’m really excited about the opportunity to join the Catalans Dragons. I have a really good relationship with Steve McNamara and look forward to playing under him and enjoying a lot of success at the club.”
There’s not much Super League fans don’t already know about Jackson Hastings; the 2019 Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel winner dragged his former side Salford Red Devils from the depths of Super League in 2018 to their miraculous journey to the 2019 Grand Final.
Adrian Lam’s Wigan Warriors were the fortunate club to get their hands on Salford ‘s talismanic half who featured in Great Britain’s Lions tour, he remained in Australia for much of the off-season and rumours started to circulate that he may not return to the UK, but both Hastings and Wigan dispelled those rumours.
The England international has never played a Super League game, he could make his debut for Warrington Wolves against their rivals on the opening day of the season in a star-studded half partnership with Blake Austin.
Widdop moved to Australia from Halifax as a teenager, playing for both Melbourne Storm and St George Illawarra Dragons, with Storm he won both the NRL Premiership and World Club Challenge.
The Unlucky Ones
A top five selection is near impossible to choose from with the 2020 recruiting class being so spectacular. Hull FC announced the signing of 2019 Dally M second row nominee, Manu Ma'u, and the return of fan favourite Mahe Fonua.
Whilst England prop George Burgess will boost Wigan's pack, and Sosaia Feki could be a high-flyer for Daryl Powell's Castleford Tigers.