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Top 10 Championship Signings 2015

10.    George Flanagan (Featherstone Rovers to Hunslet Hawks)

A Championship traveller in recent years, Hunslet will be Flanagan’s third club in as many seasons. Last season he joined Featherstone from Batley and got off to a good start out of dummy half. Unfortunately for him, injuries got in the way when Andy Hay took over the reins and he missed out on a second successive Grand Final. Hay didn’t see Flanagan in his plans for 2015 so he was surplus to a move away from Post Office Road, or he could fight for his place. Flanagan joined Hunslet in late November as a straight replacement for James Feather who rejoined Keighley after having a change of heart in playing for the Hawks. A dynamic figure in the hooker position, Flanagan is a brilliant signing for Hunslet who will be overjoyed in finding such a talented player so late on in the transfer season.

9.    Danny Cowling (Halifax RLFC to Doncaster RLFC)

Cowling returns to the Keepmoat Stadium after falling out of favour at Halifax in 2014. Cowling had loan spells at Doncaster in 2012 and 2013, the centre was a fans favourite and he’ll certainly want to build more bridges after a disappointing campaign in West Yorkshire. At 22 years of age, Cowling still has time on his side to carve out a successful rugby league career. Doncaster will certainly be a place of great fondness for Cowling so the Keepmoat seems the perfect place for him to rebuild. With good ball distribution and a good eye for a four pointer, he’s a big presence in defence too so don’t be surprised if Cowling does have a season to remember in 2015.

8.    Ryan Verlinden (Newtown Sharks to Featherstone Rovers)

A man not to be messed with. Joining the Rovers with fellow Aussie Sam Irwin, Verlinden plays in the prop forward position and will be sorely missed at Newtown Sharks where he played over 150 games. Having extortionate pace for his size, the former Cronulla Sharks junior player will be looking forward to getting stuck in to English rugby, with Super League rugby on offer with ‘Fev. With the attacking force he possesses, Verlinden is a brilliant defender with strength, positioning and determination, all attributes he’s obtained during his extensive time in Australian rugby.

7.    Matty Wildie (Wakefield Wildcats to Dewsbury Rams)

Another Glenn Morrison acquisition which has all the ingredients to be a quality addition to the West Yorkshire club. The versatile 23-year-old can play at half-back and hooker, and had played 42 games at Super League level for the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats before his departure. With the experience he has gained at the top tier, Wildie has also played Championship level for two teams on loan. Batley and Doncaster have seen Wildie in action and certainly know the qualities he brings to the table. Wildie has intricate game management and the ability to leave a defence flat footed, coach Morrison will certainly know this and he’ll be looking forward to many tries set up by the decisive utility man.

6.    Alex Brown (Leigh Centurions to Halifax RLFC)

Similar to Etu Uaisele, Brown was built up to be a statement of intent on arrival at his new club but couldn’t quite break the mould at Leigh in 2014. Batley Bulldogs was his next port of call, a place where he doesn’t find it hard to score some whopping tries. 12 tries in 20 games for the Bulldogs helped the Mount Pleasant club survive in the Championship, whilst Brown’s next move was already on the horizon. Karl Harrison signed Brown just before his departure to take up the assistant coach role under James Lowes at Bradford. New boss Richard Marshall seems keen to use the winger to the best of his abilities, and why wouldn’t he? Brown is a great player at Championship level, a certain fans favourite at The Shay.

5.    Etu Uaisele (Featherstone Rovers to Bradford Bulls)

After a peculiar first year on English shores, Uaisele will be looking for stability at The Provident Stadium in 2015. A shaky start at Featherstone Rovers led to the outside back being loaned out to Sheffield. That was where he started to show what he can bring to the table. Potent try scoring, formidable defence and a top partnership with Misi Taulapapa gave the Tongan a platform to work with, to get his name out there for the following season. With Rovers having no doubt in getting rid of Uaisele, James Lowes soon enquired and acquired the services of the former Penrith Panthers star for 2015. There’s no doubt, with the right attitude to the cause, Uaisele will be around the top try scoring charts by next September.

4.    Ryan Fieldhouse (Halifax RLFC to Dewsbury Rams)

The former Halifax full-back joins Dewsbury Rams after four years at The Shay where he was part of a side that won the Northern Rail Cup in 2012. Fieldhouse is an integral part of a Rams side that will be rather new-look in 2015, his try scoring endeavours will certainly excite the fans at the Tetley’s Stadium. Despite having a knee injury which will keep him out for the first few games of 2015, class is permanent and Fieldhouse certainly possesses a lot of it, in both attack and defence.

3.    Wes Naiqama (Penrith Panthers to London Broncos)

A NRL experienced three-quarter, Naiqama comes to the Broncos with a good record at Penrith Panthers. The Fijian will be hoping to dominate in the backs and score some exceptional tries which are accustomed to all NRL players from 1 to 5. With Joey Grima trying to plan a return to Super League for the premier rugby league club of the south, Naiqama will certainly be a key cog to success for the Broncos. Powerful running and brilliant one-on-one tackling are the attributes that will make Naiqama a household name at The Hive.

2.    Jamie Langley (Hull KR to Sheffield Eagles)

A Super League regular for more than a decade, Langley drops down to the second tier for the first time in his career as he joins Mark Aston’s Sheffield Eagles. The experienced back-rower has had a brilliant career thus far but at 31, he delves into his first bit of coaching at the South Yorkshire club as he looks to the future. Having had a year at Hull KR after a decade at Bradford Bulls, Langley will fit in well at Sheffield, a club that have recruited handily for the upcoming season. The Sheffield fans will certainly be looking forward to seeing one of Bradford’s ‘golden generation’ don the red and gold next season.

1.    Fuifui Moimoi (Parramatta Eels to Leigh Centurions)

A cult hero at NRL club Parramatta, Moimoi makes the switch to the second tier of British Rugby League in what could be the most publicised signing ever in the Championship. Known for his brute power down the middle, the Tongan loves ‘the smash’ and will certainly excite the Leythers for the next season as they bid to make the Super League. Moimoi has played at the Leigh Sports Village previously, when he represented Tonga in the 2013 World Cup against Cook Islands on 5th November. It can be said that fireworks certainly follow Moimoi wherever he plays.

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