AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 25: Ben Murdoch-Masila of Tonga following the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Semi Final match between Tonga and England at Mt Smart Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

There are many fine rugby league players that are currently not contracted to an NRL club. Whether they are with a Super League team or without a team, many of these players would be a great addition to a number of clubs.

Ben Murdoch-Masila

Ben Murdoch-Masila made his debut for the Tigers in late 2010 and played more than 50 games for the club. However, his 2014 move to Penrith was an unhappy one and by 2016 the young forward signed with Salford.

Murdoch-Masila was in excellent form for Tonga during the World Cup and has reminded NRL clubs how powerful he is up front. Despite a recent move to the Warrington Wolves, it is clear that a number of NRL clubs, including the Titans, are interested in signing the front rower.

The explosive prop can also play in the back row and would even fit in with many of the stronger forward packs in the NRL.

Todd Carney

It has been many years since Todd Carney played for an NRL club. The 2010 Dally M winner was sacked by the Cronulla Sharks in 2014 due to poor off-field behaviour.

Since then Carney has continued to play in the Super League, though he was let go by Salford at the end of the 2017 season.

Carney is an excellent playmaker that can carve teams up at his best. His quality in the halves would not go missing, and a number of clubs could use an experienced halfback to lead their team.

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Recruiting the former New South Wales and Australian halfback is a risk, however, as he has a history of bad behaviour. Carney’s negatives could be outweighed by the positives in the eyes of many clubs that may consider him worth the risk.

Dave Taylor

Dave Taylor was a surprise addition to the Canberra Raiders in 2017. However, the versatile forward left the club to join the Toronto Wolfpack until an off-field incident forced him to return to Australia.

Currently contracted with the Central Queensland Capras, Taylor has stated that a number of NRL clubs are interested in him. However, the former Queensland and Australia representative has declined these offers at the current point in time.

The interest in Taylor is understandable, due to his size, speed and skill. Most teams could use a versatile forward that is also able to cover a number of positions in the backline.

At the age of 29, Taylor could still play for a number of years and would be a worthwhile recruit.

Albert Kelly

Albert Kelly played in the NRL from 2010 until 2014, at which point he made the switch to the Super League. Kelly showed that he had plenty of talent in his 47 games in the NRL, during which time he played for the Sharks and the Titans.

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Kelly has developed his skills immensely overseas; he was named the Hull Kingston Rovers player of the year in 2015 and helped Hull FC to a Challenge Cup Final win in 2017.

This has shown his ability to control a team from the halves and perform in big matches.  Kelly is only 26 years old and could play on for many years. This no doubt makes the talented young half an attractive option for many NRL clubs.

Ben Barba

Ben Barba is another former Dally M winner on this list. The explosive fullback dominated the competition with the Bulldogs in 2012 and won it with the Sharks in 2016.

Unfortunately for Barba, a positive drug test meant the end of his time in the NRL and he moved to Super League.

There is clearly still interest in Barba, with Valentine Holmes indicating that he would welcome the former Sharks fullback back at the club. This would likely be the case at many clubs, as Barba has shown multiple times that he is a true match winner in the number one jersey.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Albert Kelly is the safest and best option out of these players and for me I could only see one club that may be interested in him Cornulla. If they wanted to play Dugan centre, Moylan fullback then Kelly could play five eight and would make the team look pretty good but Moylan wants the number 6 jersey and Dugan and Holmes both want jersey number 1. The other possibilities could be Manly with Cherry-Evans, which also makes sense and looks nice but they don’t have much money and have good young halves.

  2. Don’t the rooster still have 750k in their cap?

    They can pick up all 5 and still have room to fit in another marquee player

    🙂
    Serious note

    Manly need Kelly

  3. The Roosters should sign either Dave Taylor or Ben Murdoch-Masila to strengthen their bench or both. Manly need the bubbler big time, If they sign Carney he will lift Manly into a top four team. The druggie Barba should stay away from our country. Perhaps Kelly would will be snapped up by the Dogs, but if I was looking for a half who can play 5/8 equally as good then Carney is a must.

  4. Manly sign Albert Kelly (500k)
    Dragons sign Ben M-M (300k)
    Broncoes sign Todd Carney (170k)
    Titans sign Dave Taylor (200k)
    Bulldogs sign Ben Barba (400k)

  5. All the mention of what clubs have to spend. Who should get which available players?
    Since mid last season, Penrith have released: Hiku, Martin, Moylan, Cartwright, Latu, Akauola, Rein.
    I thought every club has to use all of the salary cap each year now?
    Off of their amount to spend on top tier players is only :$850,000 a season for Maloney.
    Just giving a reasonable value to the players released. I come up with about $ 2,500,000 plus, that the Panthers have not spent this season on the cap.
    Can’t see anyone much on that list worth buying? To many risky investments, other than maybe Kelly.

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