Super League Imports – Without Them The Poms Wouldn’t Have A Competition

Super League has traditionally been the place where old Rugby League players go to die.

If you are looking for unbiased opinions on imports, this is where you will get them.

Forget the Super League spin doctors, the morons on web forwards or the void of information new serviced provided to the British fan. The Freak knows the score and he always speaks the truth!

How The Import Ratings Work

An outstanding signing that could easily tip a team over the top. Look for this player to be in the Man Of Steel running.

A very good signing, this player will be a standout for his new Super League club.

A better than average signing. They will do pretty well for their new club and prove to be a handy signing.

An average signing. He won’t be bad, but he also won’t look like a world beater.

A bad signing. He either won’t do much at all, his career is effectively over, or he could even make the club he is going to worse.

Zeb Taia – Catalan Dragons 
A solid forward, he won’t set the world on fire but he will add to the Dragons depth. He has signed a three year deal too, which is a fair commitment to a player of his caliber.

Trent Waterhouse – Warrington Wolves 
Has the ability to be one of the best second rowers in the game, but looks like a player that has decided to just play out his career and not put the effort in. His ball security is terrible, he gives away a lot of lazy penalties and Panthers fans are glad to see the back of him.

Brett Seymour – Hull FC 
Talked up as possibly a good signing where ever he goes, and always fails to deliver. Its been rumoured he has a few issues with getting on the drink a bit more than you’d like him too. That a bad combination with him heading to Hull.

Wade McKinnon – Hull FC 
A pretty handy fullback who, when he is on form, can really cause the opposition problems. Does tend to be a bit injury prone and gets in a lot of trouble with back chatting to referee’s. He could be an alright buy for Hull FC if he turns up ready to play.

Lance Hohaia – St Helens 
A unique player in that, he doesn’t really have a set position, but you need him on the field. He’ll probably be used at fullback by St Helens and he could be fantastic for them if they can work him into their attack properly.

Craig Gower – London Broncos 
Any time you can pay good money for an old rugby union player coming off major knee surgery, you have to do it, right? Wrong. A terrible signing for the Broncos. He won’t do much for them.

Anthony Laffranchi – St Helens 
A second rower with good mobility and work rate. I think he’s a bit soft personally. He will do a decent job for St Helens however I don’t think it will be values in Super League where defensive work is not high on anyone’s wish list.

Chris Bailey – Harlequins 
At best he was a fringe first grader in the NRL. He never really showed much in the top grade, but was handy to throw into a hold when injuries struck. He should go alright over in Super League.

Blake Green – Hull KR 
A fringe first grader at the Bulldogs, who didn’t make the NRL finals in 2010. Is a halfback who actually played some games in the back row. He’ll fill a hole, but he won’t be outstanding.

Nick Kouparitsas – Harlequins 
A wooden spooner with the Bulldogs in 2008, the the Roosters in 2009. He spent 2010 playing reserve grade for the Roosters feeder team. He’ll go ok in Super League, he could probably make a decent career for himself over there.

Ben Cross – Leeds Rhinos 
A bit of a spent force. Cross is a handy no nonsense prop, however he has struggled with injuries and concussions for a few years now. He gets knocked out a lot. I think he should have retired to preserve his health.

Willie Mason – Hull KR 
At his last three clubs he has left on bad terms, badmouthing coaches and winning the wooden spoon. Not the players he once was, not even close, but he’ll still have an impact in Super League.

Ryan Hoffman – Wigan 
A handy second rower who can get through a lot of work and cause problems out wide in attack. He has struggled with injuries for the last two seasons though so thats a worry.

Jeff Lima – Wigan 
A very handy prop, he probably wont make any headlines and his work will not be appreciated, but he will be a good performer in every game he plays.

Brett Finch – Wigan 
Fantastic signing, can Standoff but better used as Scrum Half. He will be fantastic for Wigan and could be a great halfback help improve Sam Tomkins game.

Josh Perry – St Helens 
St Helens definitely aim high when it comes to signing imports. Perry is an alright prop, and yeah, he has recent representative experience, but I’d always felt he wasn’t as good as many people think. Saints will need to keep right on top of his fitness, even in the NRL he was fat, so over there his weight could balloon and that would make him less effective. Still, a good buy.

Matt Orford – Bradford Bulls 
A great signing. Not a clutch player but he’ll be the best halfback in Super League since Andrew Johns.

Dallas Johnston – Catalan Dragons 
His impact on the club will extend to what he does off the field. A great signing.

Greg Eastwood – Leeds Rhinos 
Very good impact player, Super League will allow him to look even better.

David Fa’alogo – Huddersfield Giants 
Will probably have fans wondering where this demolition machine came from.

Setaimata Sa – Catalan Dragons 
Very solid player, should do well for the Dragons.

Matt Utai – Crusaders 
Well past his best, played reserve grade last year. A hard runner though.

Heath L’Estrange – Bradford Bulls 
A handy dummy half, he will provide quality.

Shane Tronc – Wakefield Wildcats 
If he turns up to play he’ll be a solid buy.

Iosia Soliola – St Helens 
You’d think Eddie Hemmings could have informed us of this signing!

Brett Kearney – Bradford Bulls 
A squad filler. He has a little talent, but way to many injuries.

Brett Delaney – Leeds Rhinos 
A squad filler, he will fill holes and get bagged for it.

Glenn Hall – Bradford Bulls 
Super League might allow him to look a better player.

Nick Youngquest – Bradford Bulls 
No star power, a very average player, its the Crusaders making the same old mistakes.

Frank Winterstein – Bradford Bulls 
You know a player is good when he is an import and he signs from Wakefield!

Old Import Reviews
George Carmont
Its funny seeing him touted as an international. He is athletic however he hasn’t been in any sport of form for years. The type of player Aussie fans will tune in and be astounded he is still playing.

Louis Anderson
Lots of talk of being egar to go over to Super league because his brother said it was so good. Not so much talk about not being worth the money or roster place in the NRL and needing to head to the UK just to get a run. Give some utility value but nothing special.

Chris Hicks
Fairly athletic but nothing to write home about. Having said that, he is miles ahead of any British winger in the last decade but thats pretty easy. Hopefully he plays alongside Matt King and the two of them can strike up a good combination. Either that, or he’ll never see the ball as the nuffy center on the other side of the field hogs the ball as he always has.

Tony Martin
We know what Martin does. He is a solid performer where ever he goes and its a good time for him to head to Super League. His NRL career was clearly over but he could play for another half decade in Super League. His goal kicking is a plus, although he isn’t a first line kicker he is a good backup.

Daniel Fitzhenry
He can be a handy player but once again, nothing amazing. Just one less British player for Hull KR to deal with.

Clint Newton
A world class whinger who will tell you he is the ducks guts, when in fact, he is a fringe first grader. Once again he wont add anything special but he is the bread and butter of Super League these days.

Garrett Crossman
A reserve grader at the Penrith Panthers and then Melbourne Storm. He wont really bring anything too special to Super League but hey, why develop a British player when you can sign someone from a Central Coast feeder side!

Jake Webster
An ok player who gets by more on his athletic ability than anything else. Really not the type of players Super League clubs should be going after, but oh well.

Ben Galea
A handy player that can fill in a number of positions and is a very handy player to bring off the bench. He’ll put in some very good performances for Hull KR.

Peter Cusack
A solid, no nonsense prop for the Rabbitohs, Cusack will add a lot of work and consistency to the Hull FC pack but don’t be surprised if what he brings to the club doesn’t impress fans in the UK. he will work all game, and they are more impressed by a player that can do one big hit up in five minutes before being dragged off the field because he is stuffed.

Todd Byrne
One of the slowest wingers I’ve seen for a very long time. he is the poster child for the type of player thats killed the British game. he brings nothing extra to Super league, he is nothing special, he will not make much of an impact, but he will take the place of a British player.

Paul Whatuira
A really good professional player. Won a Title at Penrith before moving to the West Tigers and winning a second Premiership. A good defender and dangerous attacker, he will be really badly wasted at Huddersfield.

Dane Carlaw
he was best summed up by Greg Dowling during the Origin series a few years ago. Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane. Carlaw hasn’t made an impact at any level for years now and while he will add a big body to the Dragons lineup, he wont make much of an impact at all.

Michael Monaghan
A very handy halfback thats crafty, tenacious and has a good kicking game. Potentially he could make the biggest impact of all the imports signed this year. He should be played at halfback but you know Lee Briers wont like that and coach Cullen will probably be too stupid to make it happen. Still, even if he is played at halfback he will make a big impact.

Matt King
A big, athletic center that can be a very handy player when in the right side. Problem is, he is playing for Warrington, a team that even left the great Andrew Johns looking like a shag on a rock! King will find he gets terrible service from his halves and his winger will leave him all at sea. Still, he is a cut above any center in Super League and that will show.

Adam Dykes
His legs are just about gone and it will be interesting to see how he goes over in the UK. He will add a whole lot of skill to a Hull side thats lacking in that area and will give the team good direction and a decent kicking game.

Shaun Berrigan
A solid player that can fill in at hooker, in the halves and in the centers. These days he is probably best suited at hooker though. He’ll be a really handy player for Hull FC who will make a difference.

Hutch Maiava
Better suited as an interchange player, Maiava can provide some good go forward but does tend to be a bit heavy and that could be a problem. If his weight becomes an issue in Super League he may be a poor signing.

Matt Sing
A former Test and Origin player, Signs ability to stop a try being scored is the stuff of legend. He can play center or wing at a high level and will be a good fit for Hull.

Shaun Timmins
Injury prone to the point where he hasn’t been on a full training schedule for years now, Timmins is a solid player to have in a side but not one I’d be buying. Aging, injury prone and adding nothing over the top to a side, Timmins would have been a great signing to a team needing to add the finishing touches to bolster an already top class outfit. But he is far from the super star import that I think he has been signed as.

Matthew Gidley
A top class ball player for a center, Gidley will make the man inside and outside of him in the attacking line better. One thing that will take time if for his winger to known where he needs to be and when. As we all know, English wingers have no idea what they are doing. Even Brian Carney had managed to catch flick passes while standing over the touch line TWICE in 2006. Over all, a good signing for St Helen’s.

Albert Torrens
More of a center then a winger, Torrens made a career from himself in Australia as being a solid center that wont lose you games. A decent defender, his best days were with the Manly Sea Eagles. He’s an ok player, not the type I want to see heading to Super League because he
isn’t above and beyond what GB already has over there, but he wont let his club down.

Andrew Johns
Well….I didn’t think I’d be putting this name up here so soon! Andrew Johns is the best player in the world. He will be the best import in Super League history. He will come at a price….and he will be worth every last cent.

More Super League clubs should be going all out and making moves like this. Johns is the complete player. The best kicking game of any player I have ever seen. The best passing game of any player I have ever seen. A dominant defender, this is a player that would be the best hooker in the world if he decided to play in the nine jersey. He can make 40 tackles if needed and he can crush any prop in the game in a bone jarring tackle.

As a leader, Johns has a desire to win that few player possess. Wolves fans can be assured that Johns has probably done more scouting of his possible Super League opponents then most coaches would do. He will make the players around him better players. From the fullback to prop forward, every player in the club will gain from playing alongside Andrew John.

With this addition the Wolves got from a club that at best could have hoped to fluke a few big wins and maybe make the second last weekend of the finals….to at least the second best club in Super League, if not, title favorites.

Simply put, the signing of Andrew Johns will have the impact of an Atomic Bomb in Super League. The last month or so of the Super League season will revolve around everything Johns does and how he improves the Wolves side.

Like I said, the very best signing by a club in the history of Super League.

Bryan Fletcher
A good second rower a few years ago, like most players that head to Souths, he seems to have had the desire for playing the game sucked out of him. Old and expensive, Fletcher is a poor signing for Wigan. Just the thing they didn’t need as they look to rebuild their once decent
Rugby League club.

Francis Meli
A huge winger that can put on massive hits in defense. Meli was a top player in 2002, but since then his form has fallen away terribly and he has been known to give away stupid penalties and mate terrible mistakes at the worst possible time. Average under the high ball, lazy in defense, like Vainikolo he finds it difficult to chase when turned around. The up side is he will be marked by other Super League wingers, and therefore he will probably be tagged as the best player in the world by some stupid Super League club within the next couple of seasons.

Awen Guttenbeil
An athletic forward from the New Zealand Warriors, Guttenbeil is yet another import heading to the new French Super League club. He is a solid player who will serve UTC well.

Alex Chan
Another import for the so called French Super League club. Alex Chan is a good, tough, solid prop forward. He doesn’t occasionally have problems with high tackles but he is a solid acquisition. He wont set the world on fire, but he will get the job done.

Mark Hughes
Injuries and poor form have seen Mark Hughes go from a State Of Origin player, to barely even playing the game any more. A very poor signing by UTC.

David Peachey
A great attacking fullback, Peachey has slowed down in recent season and does not get himself in the attack anywhere near as much as he used to. He’ll get the job done for Widnes….if they don’t get relegated first.

Michael Sullivan
A handy utility, Sullivan is at his best when coming off the bench as a replacement dummy half. Sullivan is less effective when starting the game from dummy half and although he can cover the 6 and 7 positions if needed, any team that buys him as a halfback will face problems
with his lack of passing and kicking game.

Iafeta Paleaaesina
Dubbed “Mr Effective” by New Zealand commentators, Paleaaesina’s game basically involves a couple of big runs every mate and very little else. He is best used off the bench when you want to give your starting props a breather. He will probably be the type of players British fans enjoy watching and I wouldn’t be surprised if he became a bit of a crowd favorite with Wigan fans.

Jason Cayless
Cayless is one of the top five props in the game today. A fierce competitor, Cayless is a hard running prop forward with great mobility and very good defense. Cayless will be a real asset to St Helen’s. He will be one of the few world class forwards they have had at their club in recent seasons.

Pat Richards
A guy that looks like a very good athlete. The problem is, Richards doesn’t play like an athlete. He is an average winger that is pretty good when it comes to leaping for the high ball. He is an average player at best, but he’ll be one of the top wingers in Super League.

Paul Rauhihi
A giant, Rauhihi has previously played for the Bulldogs and Knights. Rauhihi gets a lot of wraps and over 70 minutes, he isn’t the type of bloke you want running at you. The problem is, in big games he goes missing.

It doesn’t matter who he is playing, it can be a big finals match or a Test match, he just disappears. On top of that, he does some REALLY dumb things and is easily drawn into penalties if the opposition tries to niggle him. In Super League, he’ll probably go ok, but he is no world beater and if he decides to put in less effort…he could be a bust.

Ben Harris
A good young player who is moving to Super League so he wife can be closer to her family. Harris is a robust center who has shown flashes of being a very good young player. Recent injury problems have not let him play at his best but make no mistake, he is a very good player and a great signing for a Super League club.

Ian Hindmarsh
Where do you find a slow second rower that is completely unremarkable in every way? On every Rugby League field in the world! A poor signing, he will add nothing to the French Super League club.

Stacey Jones
Well Stacey has finally quit completely on the Warriors and he will be part of the new French Super League team. Johns had been rotten for two years now. Slow off the mark, nothing in attack….think a slow version of Denis Moran. A waste of time, money and a place that a young French halfback could have developed into.

Vinnie Anderson
An average player that never cemented himself in any position at the New Zealand Warriors. Some St Helen’s fans are excited but the fact is there is a reason the Warriors released him from his contract at this early stage of the season.

Mark McLinden
A good buy for London. He is more of a utility player and has never established himself in one position, but his great speed of the mark, his out and out pace and his style of play suit see him become a big hit in Super League.

Brad Drew
If he plays at hooker (And all reports suggest he will) he could be the Man Of Steel by seasons end. He is a rep quality player who just couldn’t crack the top rep sides in Australia because of a lack of stamina when compared to the likes of Buderus, Priddis and Smith.

Michael DeVere
A solid player, he wont to anything spectacular, but he’ll get the job done and wont let you down. He will be a very handy point scorer if given the kicking duties.

Stephen Kearney
Stick a fork in him…..he’s done. Kearney has been over rated for years but in 2004 he showed it was all over. Still, Kearney is heading to the UK for all the right reasons. He wants a holiday, he wants to take it easy and earn a bit of money. His comments upset some British fans, but
thats just how we look at Super League.

Brad Meyer’s
Well, who says an average QLD Cup player cant get a gig in Super League. Meyer’s burst onto the scene with Dane Carlaw and the two moved through the rep ranks together as a big second row combination. Meyer’s however has been MIA ever since. A good buy for the Bradford Bulls. He’ll be part of an outstanding one two punch of imports with Robbie Paul!

Jamie Lyon
So now your importing players from Wee Waa? Tell me something, why does a Super League club go out and pay a big transfer fee for a guy that has basically given up on the game?

Lyon is a big lad at the best of times, and his months out of the top level of the game will likely see him as a few kilo’s. Its really hard to say how he will go. He will either be a terrific signings, or a complete bust.

My guess is, he turns up well over weight, he struggles early on, his lack of condition sees him getting injured, he performs well, but not to his previous standards. Basically, Lyon is heading to St Helens to kill time until he can come back to Australia and sign for Manly.


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