The runners and riders

Super League captains, including Saints' Jon Wilkin, get a close look at the competition's coveted trophy
Super League captains, including Saints' Jon Wilkin, get a close look at the competition's coveted trophy

Phil Wilkinson runs the rule over how the 12 Super League clubs are shaping up...

CASTLEFORD TIGERS

2014 finish: 4th.

In: Junior Moors, Ben Roberts (both Melbourne), Scott Moore, (London).

Out: Marc Sneyd (Hull), Daryl Clark (Warrington), Weller Hauraki (Salford).

Key man: Justin Carney – the winger is box office, but will he get the service?

Prospects: Will struggle to match their achievements of 2014... and may not be safe from the bottom four.

Prediction: 9th.

CATALANS DRAGONS

2014 finish: 7th.

In: Todd Carney (unattached), Willie Tonga (Parramatta), Remi Casty (Sydney Roosters).

Out: Leon Pryce (Hull), Sam Williams (Canberra), Daryl Millard (South Sydney).

Key man: Todd Carney – the former Australian international was forced out the NRL for a drunken photograph. Their loss is the Dragons’ gain – a quality player.

Prospects: Have recruited better than anyone... now they just need to win away from home. Prediction: 4th.

HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS

2014 finish: 3rd.

In: Craig Huby, Jamie Ellis (both Castleford), Jack Hughes (Wigan, loan).

Out: Larne Patrick (Wigan, loan), Antonio Kaufusi (Canterbury Bulldogs), David Faiumu (retired).

Key man: Danny Brough – the Giants’ are reliant on the kicking halfback.

Prospects: It’s hard to see beyond the same ol’ story for the West Yorkshire side – competitive, but just not capable of challenging for trophies..

Prediction: 6th.

HULL FC

2014 finish: 11th.

In: Steve Michaels, Mark Minichiello (both Gold Coast), Leon Pryce (Catalans).

Out: Jacob Miller (Wakefield), Aaron Heremaia (Widnes), Richard Horne (retired).

Key man – Leon Pryce. The stand-off gave good service to Catalans and should add some flair.

Prospects: Will this 
FINALLY be their year? Don’t bank on it – but they can’t be ruled out after their transfer activity.

Prediction: 7th.

HULL KR

2014 finish: 9th.

In: Terry Campese (Canberra), Ryan Bailey (Leeds), Darrell Goulding (Wigan), Greg Burke (Wigan, loan).

Out: Travis Burns (St Helens), Kris Keating (St George Illawarra), Greg Eden (Brisbane), Josh Hodgson (Canberra).

Key man: Terry Campese – The captain will be charged with ensuring they fire quickly.

Prospects: Hard to tell. Have virtually a new team... but may take time to gel.

Prediction: 11th.

LEEDS RHINOS

2014 finish: 6th.

In: Adam Cuthbertson (Newcastle).

Out: Ben Jones-Bishop (Salford) , Ryan Bailey (Hull KR), Ian Kirke (Wakefield), Chris Clarkson (Widnes).

Key man – Jamie Peacock. Not only is the evergreen forward a big player, but this is also his last season. Will that motivate him and his troops?

Prospects: They have quality... but of the ‘big four’, their ageing squad look most vulnerable to miss out on the play-offs.

Prediction: 5th.

SALFORD RED DEVILS

2014 finish: 10th.

In: Cory Paterson (Wests Tigers), Scott Taylor (Wigan), Michael Dobson (Newcastle).

Out: Martin Gleeson, Francis Meli (both retired), Marc Sneyd (Hull).

Key man – Michael Dobson. Back in Super League, the shrewd halfback will add structure to a Red Devils side which had a disaster last year.

Prospects: They’ll be under pressure from the start after spending big. Lack depth, but they have some star players. Prediction: 8th.

SAINTS

2014 finish: 1st.

In: Atelea Vea (London Broncos), Travis Burns (Hull KR).

Out: Sia Soliola (Canberra), Willie Manu, Ade Gardner (all retired).

Key man – James Roby. When he plays well, Saints play well. It’s no coincidence. He’ll be keen to prove he is England’s liveliest No.9 after Daryl Clark’s emergence.

Prospects: Claimed the double with an injury-ravaged squad. So what can they achieve with a seriously lethal half-back pairing, Jonny Lomax and Jon Wilkin back from injury and a bunch of hungry, young turks with a seasons’ experience under their collective belts? Be afraid, Super League.

Prediction: 1st

WAKEFIELD TRINITY 
WILDCATS

2014 finish: 12th.

In: Tim Smith (Salford), Richard Owen (Castleford), Chris Riley (Warrington).

Out: Taulima Tautai (Wigan), Richard Mathers (London Broncos).

Key man – Tim Smith. But even the skilful stand-off will struggle to inspire Wakefield.

Prospects: Undoubtedly the weakest squad in Super League, the Wildcats will win a few at home, but look sure to be involved in a battle to avoid the drop.

Prediction: 12th.

WARRINGTON WOLVES

2014 finish: 5th.

In: Ashton Sims (North Queensland), Daryl Clark (Castleford), Gary Wheeler (St Helens).

Out: Paul Wood (Featherstone), Michael Monaghan (retired), Trent Waterhouse (Thirroul Butchers).

Key man – Daryl Clark. The Man of Steel is now surrounded by better players.

Prospects: Sims and Clark give them a formidable front-row alongside Chris Hill. Should be stronger than last season – a real threat.

Prediction: 3rd.

WIDNES VIKINGS

2014 finish: 8th.

In: Gil Dudson (Wigan), Aaron Heremaia (Hull).

Out: Jon Clarke, Steve Pickersgill (both retired).

Key man – Danny Tickle. Kevin Brown calls the shots, but it’s Tickle’s goal-kicking which may prove vital in tight contests.

Prospects: Made the top-eight last year, and while Denis Betts’ men haven’t been weakened, they may justbe overtaken by the likes of big-spending Salford Red Devils and Hull FC.

Prediction: 10th.

WIGAN WARRIORS

2014 finish: 2nd.

In: Lee Mossop (Parramatta), Taulima Tautai (Wakefield), Larne Patrick (Huddersfield, loan).

Out: Gil Dudson (Widnes), Darrell Goulding (Hull KR), Blake Green (Melbourne), Eddy Pettybourne (Gold Coast).

Key man – Sean O’Loughlin. A big game player but is clearly injury-prone.

Prospects: The much-vaunted Warriors pack was seriously out-muscled by Saints young forwards in a pre-season friendly. Could Shane Wane’s team be on the, erm, wane?