With so many Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands players in Super League you have to wonder what would happen if the RFL managed to make a real decision in regards to the number of Imports in Super League and force many of these players to head back home.
There is no doubt that there are a number of players in Super League that would be welcomed additions at NRL clubs, but who what suit what clubs the best?
Well wonder no more as League Freak holds the first NRL Draft of Super League Imports.
The order of the draft is decided on the reverse order of the NRL Ladder at the time of posting this article. Players were selected not so much on how good they are, but what holes they could fill in the teams that were selecting at the time.
So lets get stuck in shall we?
1. St George/Illawarra Dragons – Trent Barrett
Desperate for a five-eighth, the Dragons would love to have Barrett back. The undisputed best player in Super League, the Dragons would be thanking their lucky stars to get him with the first selection, allowing Gasnier to move back into the centers and instantly improving the Dragons chances of winning games.
2. Penrith Panthers – Jason Cayless
With the impending loss of Joel Clinton and with a forward pack that lacks backbone, Cayless’ athleticism and work rate would add a much needed boost to the Panthers.
3. Sydney Roosters – Matthew Gidley
Lacking any sort of attacking flair out wide, the Roosters would love to have a ball player like Matthew Gidley in the centers. He would give Braith Anasta in attack and would help the young Roosters wingers with his round the corner passes and solid defense.
4. Brisbane Broncos – Stacey Jones
The Broncos are desperate for a halfback and Jones would help fill the role straight away. His experience would be key.
5. Canberra Raiders – John Skandalis
With such a young side, the Raiders would love a good clubman who could show the young players at the club how to get the job done. Skandalis would lead the way up front and provide some mobility in a big Raiders forward pack.
6. South Sydney Rabbitohs – Brent Webb
With David Peachy on his way out, the Rabbitohs would love Webbs attack from the fullback position.
7. Canterbury Bulldogs – Brad Drew
Corey Hughes is on the outter at the Bulldogs but with the addition of Brad Drew the Bulldogs would have a smart hooker that is almost unstoppable when playing behind a dominsnat forward pack.
8. New Zealand Warriors – David Solomona
Looking for some attacking punch in their back row, Solomona would be an ideal fit for the Warriors.
9. Cronulla Sharks – Pat Richards
Looking to the future and wanting to become a more dangerous, athletic side, the Sharks would do well to pick Richards with the idea of moving him into the centers.
10. Newcastle Knights – Willie Talau
Looking to add some defensive power to their side, Talau would be a great addition being able to play in the centers or even in the back row.
11. West Tigers – Mark McLinden
McLinden would be ideal for the Tigers style of play. Play him off the bench move him to hooker and play Robbie Farrah in the halves, he would add another dimension to the Tigers lineup.
12. North Queensland Cowboys – Justin Murphy
Looking to shore up the wing position, Murphy would be a good addition and his ability to just get the job done where ever he goes would be just what the Cowboys needed.
13. Gold Coast Titans – Francis Meli
Looking to add some size to their team, Meli would act as an extra forward to go with some of their signings for 2008 and be a welcome addition to the young club.
14. Parramatta Eels – Scott Hill
With his experience as and an ability to play at lock, Hill would be a very handy player for the young Eels outfit. He would be a great help for the clubs current halves in Finch and Smith and with good hooker rotation would make the Eels a club with a long of skillful players.
15. Manly Sea Eagles – Paul Rauhihi
Yes he may be over weight but after a hard off season at Manly he would add welcome size to the Sea Eagles pack. Possibly off the bench.
16. Melbourne Storm – Glenn Morrison
Adding yet another very athletic forward to the Storm lineup, the Storm don’t really need a great deal of anything but Morrison would add depth to an already deep squad and help out during State Of Origin.
A lot of handy additions. You have to wonder if any of these moves would be made if the NRL salary cap was increased.
There are a few moves you could see would horrify a few players. Barrett would probably hate to have to head back to the Dragons, Cayless would know he was wasted at the Panthers and a few players would get their nose out of joint having to head back to the NRL and play second fiddle to now established younger stars.
Still, its an interesting exercise.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com