When conversation ahead of the 2022 season has shifted to signings, the talk immediately goes to the likes of Adam Reynolds, Matt Burton, Kurt Capewell, Dane Gagai and Josh Addo-Carr.

While it’s true that they will be the names to set tongues wagging and have fans riding a wave of expectation at formerly struggling clubs heading into the new season, that doesn’t mean they are all their is to get excited about.

Every club has made off-season moves heading into the new season as they look to strengthen their squads, and with the exception of the Penrith Panthers, every club wants to have better performances and end results than they did in 2021.

Many of the bottom eight clubs from last year have recruited smartly, while others in the top eight have also made excellent signings.

It’s the players who aren’t mentioned in every news story who could yet make the biggest difference to their new clubs as the 2022 season commences.

There were plenty to pick from as well, with the likes of Nick Meaney, Bailey Simonsson, Nick Cotric, Matt Ikuvalu, Ethan Bullemor and Xavier Coates all missing the top five, despite their strong credentials for the season ahead.

Here are the top five underrated signings heading into 2022.


1. Isaac Liu (Gold Coast Titans from Sydney Roosters)

Liu is this year's most underrated signing.

Playing in a Sydney Roosters team which was depleted from injury more often than it wasn't, he stood up in a big way, rising from the level he had displayed in previous years.

His versatility to play at prop, lock and in the second-row meant he was a Mr.Fix-It style option for the Roosters, all the while averaging big minutes, big numbers and outputting quality production on a consistent basis.

He played 26 games for the tri-colours in 2021 and has now played more than 200 NRL games, tackling at over 96 per cent last year and running for just over 100 metres per game.

He now joins a Titans forward pack which needs his experience, and Liu could well be the missing link as he joins the likes of Moeaki Foutaika, David Fifita and new captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui.

Don't be surprised to see the Titans go to the next level in the middle third on the back of Liu's arrival.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 23: Isaac Liu of the Roosters tackles Jason Taumalolo of the Cowboys during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Sydney Roosters and the North Queensland Cowboys at Allianz Stadium on September 23, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)