Zak Hardaker Contract Dilemma: Future with Leigh Leopards

Leigh Leopards Face Contract Challenges as Key Players Approach End of Deals

The Leigh Leopards are facing a significant challenge as a number of their key players, including Zak Hardaker, approach the end of their contracts in 2024. Hardaker, a seasoned Super League star, has made his mark with several notable clubs over the past decade, including Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Tigers, Wigan Warriors, and now Leigh Leopards.

During his time at Leeds, Hardaker was crowned the prestigious Man of Steel award winner, and he was among the candidates to win the accolade again in 2017 while playing for Castleford, where he helped guide the club to the Grand Final. After a spell at Wigan and a brief return to Leeds, the versatile full-back/center has found a home at Leigh Sports Village, but his future remains uncertain as his contract expires at the end of the season.

Leigh Leopards will likely make a concerted effort to retain Hardaker’s services, but with several other high-profile players, such as John Asiata, Josh Charnley, Ricky Leutele, and Tom Amone, also out of contract, the club’s salary cap may become a concern, as highlighted by owner Derek Beaumont.

As Hardaker ponders his next move, a few potential suitors have emerged in the form of his former club, Leeds Rhinos, as well as Wakefield Trinity and Hull FC. Leeds, who have already brought back another veteran in Ryan Hall, could view Hardaker as a valuable addition to their backline, which has been plagued by injuries. Wakefield, aiming to maintain their Super League status, may see Hardaker’s experience and reunion with former coach Daryl Powell as a recipe for success. Meanwhile, Hull FC, facing uncertainty in their center positions, could also make a compelling case for the 32-year-old’s services.

Ultimately, where Zak Hardaker will be playing in 2025 remains an intriguing question, as the versatile and accomplished player weighs his options amidst a shifting landscape in the Super League.

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