Super League pundit predictions: Are Wigan the team to beat? Who are the underdogs? Is Jack Welsby the one to watch?

The Sky Sports Rugby League pundits take a look at the team to beat, surprise stars, ones to watch, and the rising star; watch every match of the new Super League season, including Magic Weekend, the play-offs and Grand Final, live on Sky Sports

Image: The Sky Sports team give their predictions ahead of the 2024 Super League season

With the Super League 2024 season about to get under way, the Sky Sports Rugby League pundits have given their predictions of how the season will unfold...

Jenna Brooks

Highlights of the Super League Grand Final between the Wigan Warriors and the Catalans Dragons.

Team to beat: Wigan Warriors

It has to be Wigan. They are the reigning champs, and I believe they've recruited well. Sam Walters, Luke Thompson and Kruise Leeming will bring some extra punch in the middle.

Man of Steel Bevan French has been given the No 6 jersey and his game will only get better as he grows into the role and further develops his combinations with Harry Smith, Ryan Hampshire and Jai Field.

Surprise stars: Hull KR


Willie Peters led his side to the Challenge Cup final as well as the final four in Super League, so many would argue that they can't be surprise stars, but let me remind you of who they have lost: Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Kane Linnett, Brad Schneider and Jordan Abdull.

They've never won a Super League Grand Final, in fact they've never played in one. So some might be surprised if they go and create history in 2024.

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Rising star: Sam Walters

Walters played 17 games mainly in the front row for Leeds and was easily one of their best young players last season.

He prefers the back row and is hoping to focus completely on that position and make it his at Wigan. I've also been told the youngster has been outstanding in pre-season, one of the top in all testing.

One to watch: Sam Burgess

Warrington's new head coach is one of the greatest ever players to come out of England and make it in the NRL.

A superstar player but will he be a supercoach? He has the small task of making history and coaching Warrington to a first Super League title. The pressure is on, and Burgess has accepted the challenge.

Warrington Wolves head coach Sam Burgess says that his side 'just need a little bit of tidying up' and discusses his coaching style.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan

Jon Wilkin joes about the term 'sin bin' and says it should be brought to life, with players getting in an actual bin! Listen to the full episode wherever you get your podcasts.

Team to beat: Wigan Warriors

Wigan's final 11 games of the 2023 Season were exceptional with their average win margin going through the roof when compared to their earlier season form.

Matty Peet seemed to find the consistency in formula especially with his two biggest offensive threats - French defending in the line and Field defending at full-back, well out of the way.

I can only see Wigan going from strength to strength at the start of 2024 especially with their deliberate recruitment strategy which for me has been the best in Super League.

Surprise stars: Warrington Wolves

I don't care wether its their year or not, I just want to see the influence of new Head coach Sam Burgess.

He's been dubbed a "leader of men", and I would agree that rugby league is still a sport where the biggest gains are made when everyone is on the same page.

Warrington's squad is always good enough, but I think Sam might reveal where the blockages have been, freeing them up to play with maximum flare, while keeping them on a short leash.

Rising star: Max Simpson

There are lots of established players who could realise their "full" potential in 2024, Danny Walker, Mikey Lewis, and Sam Walters all showed signs of creating mini big bangs in their exploding potential last year.

Warrington prop Lucas Green was an unknown who also left a lasting impression on me as a little fish making wide ripples in a big pond.

It has to be 19-year-old Leeds centre Max Simpson however who - assuming he can stay fit - is a player to watch in 2024.

He carried a large weight of responsibility for the Rhinos in the 2022 season.

Injury robbed him of any game time in 2023 but now, two years wiser, I think with some careful consistency he has the potential to be a Super League monster.

Matt Moylan explains how his move to Leigh Leopards came about after “a few beers” at a party.

One to watch: Matt Moylan

Leigh Leopards were the joy of 2023 and I think Matt Moylan is the key to Leigh avoiding second season syndrome.

Moylan was mesmerising to watch in a Cronulla shirt with his architecturally majestic approach to his offensive game.

He could be the inspiring addition that sends them back on the hunt for silverware in 2024.

Leigh Leopards new signing Matt Moylan is the subject of The Bench's new feature of 'Set of Six', where he answers six quickfire questions.

Jon Wells

New Wigan Warriors recruit Luke Thompson says he is 'feeling fit' and 'feeling ready' for the new Super League season, having spent the last three and a half seasons in the NRL.

Team to beat: Wigan Warriors

The reigning champions go into the 2024 season as the team to beat; in my opinion, they have strengthened the squad that lifted the Super League trophy with some really astute recruitment including Luke Thompson, Sam Walters, Kruise Leeming and Tiki Chan.

But top of that particular list for me would be Adam Keighran; a calm, uncomplicated and durable centre, signed from Catalans Dragons where he starred in his first season in Super League last year. They should be favourites in 2024.

Surprise stars: Hull KR

Except it wouldn't be too much of a surprise, would it? I like everything this club has been doing over the last couple of seasons, both on and off the field, and as Willie Peters enters his second full year in charge you now look at a roster that is capable of taking on and taking out the "big" teams, and on a regular basis.,

I think they make the play-offs again which, if you consider Wigan and St Helens as shoo-ins, means one of a host of clubs who have overhauled their playing rosters this off-season (think Warrington, Catalans, Leeds, Huddersfield) misses out.

Highlights of the Super League playoff match between Hull KR and Leigh Leopards.

Rising star: Cain Robb

Still just 20 years of age, I think 2024 could be the season that sees Cain Robb get the game time he deserves. He does have two more experienced players technically in front of him in Paul McShane and Liam Horne, nonetheless I think he has the potential to be a cracking player.

If Castleford Tigers decide that Paul McShane is more effective in two spells rather than pitching him in for 80 minutes every week, then Robb is a great rotation to have. He reminds me of Daryl Clark, which is high praise. I hope Super League sees more of him in 2024.

One to watch: Roderick Tai

I remember watching Tai play for Papua New Guinea at the World Cup in 2022 and was seriously impressed. He has the athletic ability of an NFL running back, possessing that rare blend of footwork, power output and top line speed.

I think he'll be a real hit with Wolves fans in 2024 (which is maybe the only season they'll see him given there are already rumours of a contract waiting at the Dolphins in the NRL in 2025). Definitely my pick for one to watch.

Watch every match of the 2024 Super League season, including Magic Weekend, the play-offs, and men's, women's and wheelchair Grand Finals, plus the World Club Challenge, live on Sky Sports. Also stream with NOW.