10 off-contract Rugby League World Cup players available for 2023

Off-contract Rugby League World Cup players. PA. Credit: Alamy
Off-contract Rugby League World Cup players. PA. Credit: Alamy

Following the conclusion of the delayed 2021 Rugby League World Cup, several big name players still remain without a club for next season in both sides of the globe.

Here’s a look at 10 of the biggest off-contract players.

Caleb Aekins

Caleb Aekins. News Images Credit: Alamy
Caleb Aekins. News Images Credit: Alamy

The Wales full-back featured in all three of the side’s group matches, capping off a fine season with Leigh where he was a part of the promotion-winning side to Super League.

However, he has not been retained by the newly-rebranded Leopards and remains on the market for 2023.

He previously told Love Rugby League: “I’d like to stay over here another year. I’ve only been here a year, so I’d like to string together a couple of years. But I’m not opposed to going back, either. Just whatever pops up, to be honest.”

Kyle Evans

Kyle Evans. PA Images Credit: Alamy
Kyle Evans. PA Images Credit: Alamy

Another star of the Welsh side, winger Kyle Evans caught the attention of plenty during his World Cup campaign in Group D. Having only made the code switch with Wakefield mid-way through the season, the 32-year-old made his international debut against Tonga at St Helens.

Wales boss John Kear was one of the many surprised at the fact the winger is yet to sign a contract for the 2023 campaign.

Matty Russell

 Credit: Alamy
Australia’s Campbell Graham (right) is tackled by Scotland’s Matty Russell. Mike Egerton/AAP/PA Images

Scotland winger Matty Russell has openly discussed his desire to want to play in the top flight following Toulouse’s relegation from Super League.

The Bravehearts underperformed during their World Cup campaign, but 29-year-old Russell would be a strong signing for many clubs in 2023.

Podcast: Matty Russell opens up on overcoming gambling and alcohol demons, & how Toulouse has reacted to Super League relegation

Brandon Wakeham

Brandon Wakeham Rugby League World Cup. PA Images Credit: Alamy
Brandon Wakeham Rugby League World Cup. PA Images Credit: Alamy

Fiji half-back Brandon Wakeham is one of the headline players in this list, with 34 appearances in the NRL to his name at 23-years-old.

The talented playmaker made 16 appearances in 2022 for Canterbury Bulldogs, scoring three tries and assisting a further 16. He also kicked 50 goals last season Down Under.

Steven Marsters 

Steven Marsters, Rugby League World Cup. PA Images. Credit: Alamy
Steven Marsters, Rugby League World Cup. PA Images. Credit: Alamy

Steven Marsters represented Cook Islands at the delayed 2021 Rugby League World Cup, putting himself in the shop window. He has not played professionally since the 2021 season with South Sydney Rabbitohs.

A stand out performance came against Wales, scoring 10 points in an impressive display with an 18-12 win.

Perhaps he could follow cousin Esan with a move to Super League. 

Martin Taupau

Martin Taupau. PA Images Credit: Alamy
Martin Taupau. PA Images Credit: Alamy

Samoa’s Martin Taupau was released by NRL side Manly Sea Eagles following the conclusion of the 2022 campaign.

The 32-year-old former New Zealand international was a part of Samoa’s history-making World Cup side, and was named on the bench for their final against Australia.

He has made more than 200 NRL appearances across stints with Canterbury, Wests Tigers and Manly Sea Eagles.

Josh Cook

Josh Cook Ireland SWpix Credit: Alamy
Photo: Will Palmer/SWpix

Off-contract hooker Josh Hook has previously discussed his desire to play in England next year after leaving NRL side Canterbury Bulldogs at the end of last season.

The 23-year-old represented Ireland during the World Cup. He told Love Rugby League: “I spoke to a few of the boys here who play in Super League. I’m very open to play footy as long as I get a good crack and a good dig, I’ll take any opportunity.”

Josh Mansour 

Josh Mansour hat-trick. PA Images Credit: Alamy
Josh Mansour hat-trick. PA Images Credit: Alamy

32-year-old Lebanon winger Josh Mansour remains without a club for 2023, having made more than 150 appearances in the NRL.

The former Australia international made his NRL debut back in 2012 with Penrith Panthers, and would go on to represent South Sydney Rabbitohs from 2021-2022.

A high profile player of the sport, Mansour told Love Rugby League that he would be open to a move to Super League.

Corentin Le Cam

Corentin Le Cam Clementz Michel/Maxppp/PA Images. Credit: Alamy
Corentin Le Cam Clementz Michel/Maxppp/PA Images. Credit: Alamy

France international youngster Corentin Le Cam was one of nine confirmed departures from Catalans following the conclusion of the 2022 season.

He progressed through the academy at the club, and the back-rower is on the hunt for a new team for 2023.

Samisoni Langi

Samisoni Langi, Rugby League World Cup. PA Images. Credit: Alamy
Samisoni Langi, Rugby League World Cup. PA Images. Credit: Alamy

Another player who headlined the departures from Catalans was Samisoni Langi. The former Tonga international represented France at the 2021 tournament. He featured in all three group fixtures of the Rugby League World Cup.

The 29-year-old qualified through the residency rule, having played for the Dragons for the last five years.

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