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It?s been a busy week or so since St Helens were victorious in the Grand Final in front of a Superleague record crowd at Old Trafford, and the other clubs have already been busy signing players to try and make up ground for next season. Let?s see if we can track some of the player movements that have been confirmed so far.
For all the latest details as they happen, see the forum thread maintained by ?Evil Homer? by clikcing "here".
Hull FC - Danny Tickle, Wayne Godwin, Willie Manu, Matt Sing, Hutch Maiava
Ex-Wigan forwards Danny Tickle and Wayne Godwin will be looking for fresh starts on the other side of the country when they turn out at KC Stadium under Peter Sharp next season. Willie Manu joins from relegated Castleford where his season was interrupted with an Australian community service order. Hull lost several players mid-season to retirement and other clubs. Along with retired international winger Matt Sing joining from North Queensland and a former NZ squad member Hutch Maiava joining from Cronulla, Hull FC aren?t resting on this year?s second place finish, and the taste of what is possible over the past two seasons could spur this club onto more.
Bradford ? Michael Platt, James Evans, Chris Feather Glenn Morrison
Coach Steve McNamara?s first signings since taking over at Grattan Stadium were been prop Chris Feather on a three year deal, and Parramatta forward Glenn Morrison, Castleford fullback Michael Platt and Wakefield loanee James Evans from Huddersfield, all on two year deals. Bradford have lost winger Karl Pryce to rugby union and forward Brad Meyers to the Gold Coast, and rumours persist that Wakefield?s David Solomona might look to hook up with Bradford should they meet the conditions of his release. The Bulls faithful will again have expectations that they will be there or thereabouts when the major titles are decided next season.
Leeds ? Brent Webb, Kylie Leuluai
Coach Tony Smith will welcome two Kiwi signings to Headingley in New Zealand international fullback Brent Webb and New Zealand born Manly prop Kylie Leuluai. Next season the Rhinos will be without rugby union bound Chev Walker, and gold Coast bound fullback Richie Matthers, as well as the retired Willie Poching and released Shane Millard, and departing Mark O?Neil and Chris Feather. However Leeds will also retain their mid-season signings of former NZ international Clinton Toopi and former GB international Jamie Thackray. While successful enough this year, by Leeds standards the season did not produce the expected results, and I?d suspect Leeds are still on the lookout for that someone who might be able to recreate their spark of previous seasons.
Warrington - Vinnie Anderson, Paul Johnson, Adrian Morley
After being left out of the 17 for St Helens? biggest games this season, Vinnie Anderson moves to Warrington on a three year deal. Warrington paid ?50,000 for Anderson to move with one year left on his Saints contract, and he will play either alongside GB international Martin Gleeson in the centres, or in the Wolves back row. Vinnie joins Warrington?s other international recruits, Paul Johnson and Adrian Morley at Halliwell Jones Stadium under England coach Paul Cullen next year. Warrington have lost Logan Swann to NZ Warriors, Tohe Kohe-Love to Widnes, and prop Mark Hilton has retired. Warrington seem intent on doing everything they can to remain a top six club in the future.
Salford ? Luke Dorn, Mark Edmondson, Michael Korkidas
As one of this season?s key players Andrew Dunemann leaves the Reds for Canberra, London-based Luke Dorn moves up Manchester way to fill the gap. The Reds have also signed forwards Mark Edmondson returning from his stint with the Syndey Roosters and Michael Korkidas one of several forwards that seem to be leaving Wakefield. The Reds will be without the retiring Sean Rutgerson as well as Chris Charles and Simon Baldwin who are moving to National League clubs. Salford have spent sensibly in also recruiting players from National League and Academy teams to cover, but coach Karl Harrison be desperate next season to maintain the club?s hard won top six status.
Harlequins ? Scott Hill, Sione Faumuina, Julien Rinaldi, Danny Orr, Jon Grayshon, Chris Melling
Always seems to be a lot of movement for the London club, and next year will be no exception with 13 players from this year?s squad who will no longer wear the Quins colours under coach Brian McDermott. Twickenham Stoop regulars will be expecting Melbourne?s Scott Hill, French international Julien Rinaldi who has signed from Les Catalans, or Wigan?s Danny Orr to make up for the loss of playmakers Luke Dorn and Thomas Leuluai. Forward Jon Grayshon from Huddersfield and utility Chris Melling from Wigan are probably the first of several signings to bolster some depth in next season?s Harlequins side which will be without the likes of regulars Mark Tookey, Danny Williams, Nick Bradley-Qawilawa and Joe Mbu.
Part Two with other Superleague clubs coming tomorrow?