The Leeds Rhinos squad is beginning to take shape following the latest news to come out of the club.
Leeds confirmed that Rhyse Martin had signed a new deal on Friday, with the Papua New Guinea international signing a one-year deal.
However, the club also confirmed that Konrad Hurrell and King Vuniyayawa would depart at the end of the season, with moves to St Helens and Salford respectively on the cards.
Their exits mean Leeds have one quota spot to play with as they look to finalise their roster for next season.
It’s understood the club’s focus is now based on recruiting a prop to replace Vuniyayawa, though they will be able to invest more money into a new recruit than what they did the Fijian.
That’s as a result of Hurrell’s departure, who was one of the club’s marquee players. That means £150,000 has been cleared from the club’s current cap.
Of course, the arrivals of James Bentley, Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer eat into that money freed up, though Rob Lui, another high earner, is leaving too.
It’s almost certain that Leeds will not invest marquee money on a new prop, but their budget should stretch far enough to ensure they can secure a recognised NRL player for 2022. Vuniyayawa was a relative unknown at his time of arrival. The Rhinos are thought to be assessing the market as it stands and weighing up the potential options available to them before making their move.
That’s likely to be their final significant investment before next season, though there remains a possibility that they could add a winger to their squad too.
That will ultimately be determined by the future of Luke Briscoe. If he stays, Leeds are incredibly unlikely to sign another winger. However, if he doesn’t re-sign, a replacement should be expected.