Ten Best NRL Players Heading To Super League in 2021

Matt Pritchard ranks the top ten National Rugby League imports heading to Super League in 2021.

10. Agnatius Paasi

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From: New Zealand Warriors
To: St Helens RLFC

The 29-year-old brings just over 100 NRL games’ experience to St Helens and will be a handy replacement for the recently retired James Graham. In a COVID-19-interrupted campaign, Paasi made six appearances for the New Zealand Warriors before heading home. He joins the Saints on a two-year contract.

9. Mason Lino

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From: Newcastle Knights
To: Wakefield Trinity

Mason Lino takes up a three-year contract with Wakefield Trinity. It was a relatively disappointing exit from the Newcastle Knights as he was unable to establish himself as a regular in the starting line-up. It’s likely that he’ll partner Jacob Miller in the halves at Wakefield, meaning Ryan Hampshire is likely to move permanently to fullback.

8. Brad Takairangi

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From: Parramatta Eels
To: Hull Kingston Rovers

Released by the Parramatta Eels at the end of 2020, Takairangi joins the Hull Kingston Rovers for the next two seasons. With just over 150 games under his belt, he is likely to fit straight into the second row initially, but can play in a playmaking role at five-eighth if required.

7. Sione Mata’utia

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From: Newcastle Knights
To: St Helens RLFC

At 24 years old, Sione Mata’utia is one of the youngest NRL players transferring to the Super League, and he will be a Saint for the next three seasons. At 18, he became the youngest player to play for the Australian Kangaroos (back in 2014). His injuries, especially concussion, could be a liability for the Saints.

6. Korbin Sims

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From: St George-Illawarra Dragons
To: Hull Kingston Rovers

Fijian international Korbin Sims links with Hull Kingston Rovers for the next two seasons. It was a disappointing final season at the Dragons: suffering a broken arm during the NRL Nines tournament in Perth and playing only a handful of games as a result. A solid player who will bring some much-needed firepower to the Rovers, he could easily become a cult hero in similar fashion to brother Ashton in his stints at Warrington and Toronto.

5. Ryan Hall

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From: Sydney Roosters
To: Hull Kingston Rovers

Ryan Hall returns to Super League with the Hull Kingston Rovers after a frustrating campaign with the Sydney Roosters. Hall made just 11 appearances in the Tricolours over two seasons and couldn’t get off the duck egg and onto the scorers sheet. The Rovers have made some good signings for 2020, but this one may be their best based on his experience (327 games with Leeds) and try scoring ability (232 tries).

4. Zane Tetevano

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From: Penrith Panthers
To: Leeds Rhinos

Zane Tetevano is a highly-rated signing for the Leeds Rhinos as they look to win their first Super League title since 2017. Recently released from Penrith, he was part of their grand final side which went down to the Storm and also played in the Roosters’ 2018 grand final-winning team. Mainly playing as an impact forward off the bench, it will be interesting to see if he slots straight into the starting side as their marquee signing.

3. Joel Thompson

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From: Manly Sea Eagles
To: St Helens RLFC

Joel Thompson is by far the best Australian-born recognised forward to make the move to Super League for 2021. With 13 seasons spanning across the Raiders, Dragons, and more recently Manly, Thompson brings close to 250 games experience to the Red V. Not only is he an impressive hard-working forward, he also brings leadership on so many levels. At 32 and at the twilight of his career, Thompson still has so much to give to the game. St Helens fans should look forward to his inclusion as they look to win back-to-back-to-back titles.

2. Josh Reynolds

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From: Wests Tigers
To: Hull FC

Josh Reynolds is an excellent signing for Hull FC ahead of the new season. He brings to the club 10 seasons in the NRL, with 160 games for Canterbury and the Wests Tigers, and four appearances for New South Wales in Origin. Reynolds will be keen for a fresh break after a couple of well-documented off-field incidents which has damaged his reputation. Not only is he a talented half, Reynolds has an aggressive nature to his game: he’s not afraid to take on the defence, or put his body on the line defending. He could be the type of player vying for the Man of Steel in his first stint in Super League.

1. John Bateman

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From: Canberra Raiders
To: Wigan Warriors

Wigan Warriors fans have been celebrating since the announcement of John Bateman’s return. Super League’s gain is the NRL’s loss given his immediate impact in the elite competition back in 2019. Unfortunately, 2020 was disrupted for Bateman as he battled a shoulder injury which kept him out for a good part of the year. Not only is he an exceptional player, and quite possibly one of the best imports to play in the NRL, but he’s a character of the game. In a year where COVID-19 has hit the UK so hard, Bateman will be a positive injection into the struggling English game prior to hosting the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

Other National Rugby League to Super League transfers

Jai Field (Parramatta Eels to Wigan Warriors), Jack Cogger (Canterbury Bulldogs to Huddersfield Giants), Albert Vete (Melbourne Storm to Hull Kingston Rovers).

Signed after article was posted

Elijah Taylor (Wests Tigers to Salford Red Devils on 28/12/2020)

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