It’s been a busy week as Friday’s deadline approached. Here’s our summary of all the big moves…
Exodus from the Centurions
Much of the movement has centred on Leigh, after wins for Halifax and London Broncos in the Championship last Sunday made a spot in this year’s Qualifiers highly unlikely.
With another season in the Championship on the way, Leigh owner Derek Beaumont said in a statement during the week that a dramatic fall in budget will be “a drop too far to sustain the Club in its current form”, and that his own position was now “untenable”.
He added: “This week is deadline week and therefore an ideal opportunity for players to be able to secure their futures elsewhere and at the same time reduce the Club’s obligations.
“I can confirm there will be a large number of exits and that may bring some opportunities for others but that will be ongoing this week right up until deadline.”
Play-off contenders boost their ranks
Leigh players have made their way right to the top of Super League, with two sides in the top four boosting their rosters with Centurions.
Highly-prized centre Peter Mata’utia has moved to Castleford, on loan for the 2018 campaign with a permanent three-year contract after that.
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell said that the Samoan international is “a quality outside back who can play in different positions, but we have signed him primarily as a fullback.
“I am delighted with this signing and I look forward to seeing his impact on the group and the team in this season and throughout his contract. I have heard nothing but positive things about Peter and I’m confident he will be an outstanding acquisition for the Tigers.”
Meanwhile, Warrington have added to their forward ranks with the signing of Bodene Thompson, a former NRL star who will get his first taste of Super League action in the Super 8s.
“I see him playing a big part in our team over the back end of the season as he has the ability to play in the middle and also on the edge,” commented Wolves coach Steve Price.
Of the chasing pack only Huddersfield have improved their squad, with Suaia Matagi, who had been due to sign for the 2019 season, now due to link up with the Giants for the start of the Super 8s.
Their coach Simon Woolford said that he was “delighted that he’ll be here soon”, adding that it’s a mark of him as a man and shows his determination to help us that as soon as his Visa landed he wanted to get here.”