SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 08: Kane Evans and Jarryd Hayne look on during a Parramatta Eels NRL training session at the Old Saleyards Reserve on May 8, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

10. Charlie Gubb (Canberra Raiders)

Despite only 11 appearances for the New Zealand Warriors in 2017, many pundits rated Gubb as the Auckland based club’s best forward.

After a bidding war between several clubs broke out once it became clear he was out of favour with Stephen Kearney; the Canberra Raiders beat out the likes of North Queensland and the Newcastle Knights for Gubb’s signature for the 2018 season.

Things haven’t eventuated for the 28-year-old however with the cult favourite again falling out of favour with his head coach. In his five appearances this season, Gubb averages just 61 metres per game which is well below the standards of an NRL front rower.

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY – MAY 13: Charlie Gubb of the Raiders watches on during the round 10 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Cronulla Sharks at GIO Stadium on May 13, 2018 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

9. Josh Reynolds (Wests Tigers)

Reynolds was one of the bigger signings of the 2017 off-season. A pre-season injury, however, derailed his early aspirations. Returning in Round 6, Reynolds, unfortunately, injured his hamstring and was ruled out for another six-week period.

Making his second return from injury in Round 12, Reynolds managed to string three consecutive games together but again suffered a hamstring injury in Round 14. He was fortunate enough to miss just the one game this time around but in Wests Round 16 defeat at the hands of the Gold Coast Titans; Reynolds suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.

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Reynolds makes this list due to his poor luck with injuries coupled with the fact that in the five games he featured in this season, his form wasn’t all that flash – and by the time he had returned from his first stint on the sideline in Round 6… Veteran half Benji Marshall had already usurped Reynolds as Ivan Cleary’s preferred five-eighth.

CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 17: Josh Reynolds of the Tigers looks on during the warm up before the start of the NRL trial match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Wests Tigers at Barlow Park on February 17, 2018 in Cairns, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

8. Aaron Woods (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs)

Woods’ form for the Dogs was so bad, the club pulled their rich $3.2 million four-year contract from under his feet just six months into the deal.

In his 14 games for the Bulldogs, Woods managed just six tackle breaks, conceded 14 penalties, recorded 11 handling errors, missed 18 tackles and was well below his career average when it came to making yardage for his side with just eight metres gained per carry of the football.

After a mid-season switch to Cronulla, Woods is now an interchange forward with the likes of Matt Prior preferred ahead of him.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 16: Aaron Woods of the Bulldogs leaves the field during the round two NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Allianz Stadium on March 16, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

See Also: Top Ten worst signings of 2018: Part Two

 7. Taane Milne (Wests Tigers)

2018 was going to be the breakout year for ex-Dragons centre Taane Milne. Alarm bells began ringing however when Milne wasn’t named as part of Wests 21-man squad for the opening rounds of the season.

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Everyone’s fears came to fruition when on April 6, Milne was released from the club after failing a second drug test. At this point in time, Milne is contracted to the Mounties in the ISP. Such a waste of talent.

TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 05: Taane Milne of Fiji looks to get past Christiaan Roets of Walesduring the 2017 Rugby League World Cup match between Fiji and Wales at 1300SMILES Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

6. Kane Evans (Parramatta Eels)

Due to poor form and injury, the Eels’ big off-season forward recruit Kane Evans has managed just six first grade appearances this season.

Evans averages just 70 metres per game this season for the Eels and after a finals finish in 2017, Parramatta are somehow in worse shape this season, currently sitting second last on the ladder which has many pundits pinning the blame on the current state of the Eels forward pack.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 08: Kane Evans and Jarryd Hayne look on during a Parramatta Eels NRL training session at the Old Saleyards Reserve on May 8, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

See Also: Top Ten worst signings of 2018: Part Two


  1. There were plenty of bad signings this year but if your talking about players who were signed with expectations and underperformed surely players like Leilani Latu, Chris McQueen and Reece Robinson would come into the conversation as well

    • You are so right. Had forgotten all about Bryce Cartwright . Surely he must be up there close to the number one worst buy for 2018? He cost the Gold Coast $750,000 a season. They were so desperate to sign him. Now they want some other club to pay $750,000 to take him away from there. Not going to happen.
      Maybe they could pay Penrith $350,000 a season to take him back? Surely , if he can get his life straight again he can be a decent player?

  2. I think you have to set the parameters first. The way I see it, it should be based on value for money, in that position, term of the contract, and on actual on field performance etc. For example, if it’s value to date, based on a player that missed most of the season and/or a big money signing versus an average 1, versus long/short term contracts, impacts on actual games etc. you can get very different outcomes.

    For example, Woods underperformed, big time, and locked in his underperformance for the Dogs, as they’ve already moved him on paying a fair share of his future salary, versus Foran that has just missed most of the season. Not that I’m saying Foran won’t underperform either.

    Semi, I’m going to disagree on Evans, and argue Cartwright as an obvious diversion at least, but I’m also going to risk a serious pineappling from other Parra supports, and call Evans as a potential 2RF. I know he hasn’t performed to date, but I think he can play a side, and play long minutes there.

    • Exactly. Value for money is the key for me in determining the worst buy as well as why the player was brought in. So you look at guys like Woods and Hunt to go near the top of the list.

      On Evans, I think he deserves his spot on the list. He isn’t on huge money, but he was bought to strengthen our small pack and offer a point of difference. He has not gone close to doing this and his run metres are awful. I am not going to argue with you on the move to 2RF, I honestly don’t know if that is a good idea or not, but might be worth a shot to try and get the best out of him.

      I fully expect to see Hayne on the next part of this list, not because he deserves to be, especially on $500K, but because he is an easy target for reporters to generate chat on stories, and the fact that he is still treated by many like he is earning $1M plus and should be in the elite level of players in the comp. The fact is he is not that player anymore, and he is being paid accordingly.

    • mighty, you make a lot of sense – any signing, unless they set the world on fire (e.g. Ponga) could be declared a poor signing.
      Too many factors come into play as you point out – using the example of Evans, he spent the majority of the season injured after returning from the world cup but was on say 400k, compare that to Cartwright, who was signed on significantly more by all reports, and who spent the majority of the season sadly out of form but not injured.
      In saying that, should Evans be on the list? I would say yes, at this stage.
      Dragons supporters at this stage of the season, could say Hunt was a poor signing, but were singing his praises as he led the team to the top of the ladder early season.
      Its all subjective and open to be taken whichever way an agenda wants it to.

    • Lucky your not a player, or you’d be gone ages ago..
      Usually stupid rabbit comment from Rusty’s shoe polisher

    • We don’t want him to leave…
      Everyone goes on about his salary and stuff, but who can he be replaced with????
      If Ben hunt gets a million a year and so does Milford surely dce can get 1.2
      Manly need more then loosing dce…
      It’s quite obvious from media and people I speak too, the board is stuffing the players and Barrett, and agree or disagree this playing group are very loyal to Barrett..

    • They are getting deleted because you are copy and pasting an entire article as a comment. Please just add a link to the article if you feel it’s relevant.

  3. What’s up with all the talk about Hunt? I haven’t watched a bunch of Dragons games lately but for the first half of the season Hunt and Widdop were considered the best halves pairing in the comp. Even if he has gone down hill after Origin having good performance for half the season is a lot better than what the rest of these signings have managed. Dragons didn’t even make the 8 last year.

    For me I would put Woods ahead of the likes of Bird and Foran for the simple reason that the clubs that signed them were stupid for thinking they were getting anything other than injury prone players that have been far from living up to their potential. Foran hasn’t been good since he was at Manly and Bird has never been as good as he has been hyped to be. Woods has no excuse, no injuries, big contract and part of a big forward pack and yet he still sucked.

    Cartwright is my number 1 along with the Titans coach for “poaching” him.

  4. I have to wonder how far over the cap the Titans are? They would have to have Millions in Third Party Deals , to not be over the Cap.
    Cartwright, $750,000 a season for 4 years. Latu, $450,000 a season for 4 years. That’s 1.2 Million for 4 years . Paid to 2 players that rarely make first grade.
    Yet they’re still good to buy more players?

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