10 Worst Signings in NRL History

Every offseason, NRL sides look to improve their chances of winning a premiership by signing a marquee player from another club or even overseas. Some signings have worked out, while others, as this list will show, have not. Here are the top 10 worst buys in NRL history (according to Rugby League Week).

 

10) Martin Kennedy (Broncos, 2014)

– Had a successful five-year stint with the Roosters and arrived to the Broncos on big money

– Fell out of favour with coach Anthony Griffin and ended up being demoted to the Intrust Super Cup

– Returned to the Roosters but was caught up in the peptides scandal and did not play a game in 2015

 

9) Adam Dykes (Eels, 2002-04)

– Dally M five-eighth of the year in 2001 for Cronulla

– Signed a four-year deal with Parramatta as a replacement for the retiring Jason Taylor

– Injury problems saw him play just 38 games over three seasons

– Released to re-join the Sharks in 2005

 

8) Chris Walker (Rabbitohs, 2003)

– High profile signing from the Broncos

– Played just five games for Souths (scored one try)

– Walked out to join the Roosters

– His contract with the Rabbitohs was believed to be in the vicinity of $250,000/year

 

7) Chris Sandow (Eels, 2012-15)

– Signed a four-year deal with Parramatta reportedly worth $550,000/year

– Struggled for form in his first two years, often dropped to NSW Cup side Wentworthville

– Found some form under coach Brad Arthur in 2014, where he won the club’s player of the year award

– Released less than a year later to play for Super League side Warrington Wolves

 

6) Ben Barba (Broncos, 2014)

– Dally M Player of the Year in 2012 for the Bulldogs

– Expected to be the next Darren Lockyer, starting the year at fullback before shifting to five-eighth

– Didn’t offer much as a playmaker, providing just four line break assists, six try assists and seven line breaks

– Moved to the Sharks in 2015, where he helped lead Cronulla to their maiden premiership in 2016

 

5) Matt Orford (Raiders, 2011)

– 2008 Dally M medallist

– Came across from Super League side Bradford

– Played just six games before succumbing to a groin injury

– Released from the Raiders in 2012

 

4) Kieran Foran (Eels, 2016)

– Considered one of the biggest signings in recent memory

– Started season well, but was forced to walk away from the game for personal reasons

– Expected to make a comeback in 2017 with the Warriors

 

3) Adam Blair (Tigers, 2012-14)

– Came to the Tigers as one of the best front-rowers in the game from the Storm

– Became ill-disciplined and error prone, ultimately losing his Test jersey

– Released to go to the Broncos, where he helped lead them to the 2015 grand final

 

2) Reni Maitua (Sharks, 2009)

– Joined the Sharks after being sacked by the Bulldogs in 2008

– Played in just eight games (all losses)

– Tested positive for Clembuterol, a banned substance, and was banned from rugby lague for 2 years

 

1) Sam Tomkins (Warriors, 2014-15)

– Touted as the ‘English Billy Slater’ and expected to take the Warriors to the next level

– Struggled to keep up with the speed/intensity of the NRL and was often left susceptible to injury

– Made 37 appearances over two seasons, scoring 14 tries and having a winning percentage of 48%

– Granted a release in his final year, citing homesickness, and returned to the Wigan Warriors in 2016

 

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