Hull Kingston Rovers boss Chris Chester has strengthened his back-room staff for 2015 with the addition of vastly experienced Willie Poching as his new assistant coach.
Chester was appointed as the club’s head coach on a full-time basis last week and has wasted no time in snapping up the services of the highly rated Poching to be his right-hand man.
Currently a first team coach alongside Tony Smith at Warrington, Poching will link up with the Robins at the end of the season on a one-year contract and says he can’t wait to get started at the KC Lightstream Stadium.
Poching enjoyed an illustrious playing career before turning his hand to coaching and represented both New Zealand and Samoa as well as having successful spells with Wakefield and Leeds in Super League.
After hanging up his boots in 2006, he was part of the coaching set-up at the Rhinos under first Tony Smith and then Brian McClennan, before going on to coach the Samoa national side. He would later follow Smith to Warrington where he has spent the past four seasons.
Helping to lead the Wolves to the League Leaders Shield in his first season, Poching was also part of the Warrington staff which won the Challenge Cup in 2012 and featured in last season’s Grand Final.
Hull KR have agreed to release full-back Greg Eden from the final year of his contract to enable him to make a move to Australia.
Eden, 23, who was famously dubbed England's Billy Slater by Nathan Brown two years ago during their time together at Huddersfield, is thought to have secured a contract with Brisbane Broncos.
The Castleford-born player has made 37 appearances for the Robins since joining them from Huddersfield two years ago.
"I've really enjoyed my time at Hull KR and I wish everybody here all the best for the future," said Eden, who had loan spell at Salford earlier this season after losing the full-back spot to Ben Cockayne.
"It's a great club and I'm sure good things are around the corner under Chris Chester but I didn't feel personally that I could turn this opportunity down.
"I've always had an ambition to play in the NRL and it's a great chance for me to go over there and hopefully improve my game."
Hull KR chief executive Mike Smith said: "We have retained an option on Greg's services should he return to Super League but he makes the move to the NRL with our best wishes.
"We have been planning for his departure as we look to strengthen our squad for 2015 and have already recruited heavily in the outside backs for next season.
"I'd like to thank Greg for his service to Hull KR over the past two years and wish him good luck with his new club."
There is more than just city pride at stake in tonight's Hull derby in Super League.
It is a must win game for both Hull FC and Hull KR if they have serious aspirations of making the end of season playoffs.
John Shires reports:
Hull FC players have praised their fans ahead of a crunch Super League derby game with city rivals Hull KR.
A win could put FC just a point behind Rovers in the league but it has been a disappointing season for both in the bottom half of the table.
Mickey Paea is one of few players to have crossed the divide and he told Chris Dawkes how important the FC fans are:
Hull KR's Ade Gardner says he underestimated the ferocity of the city's rugby league rivalry before he moved to East Yorkshire.
Hull KR are away to Hull FC tonight in the Super League at the KC Stadium.
Gardner told Chris Dawkes before moving to Rovers he did not realise the intensity of the derby:
Hull KR have announced the signing of former Warrington loose forward Tyrone McCarthy from Australian side Northern Pride.
The 26-year-old becomes head coach Chris Chester's sixth new signing for next season and the Rovers' man says he is delighted to have landed his target:
Both head coaches from cross city rivals Hull FC and Hull KR have been building up the significance of this Friday's derby at the KC Stadium.
FC coach Lee Radford all but admitted defeat in his club's quest for the Super League playoffs after last weekend's defeat to Bradford.
But his opposite number Chris Chester, who signed a new three year contract yesterday, knows a win for his side will put them in the running for a shot at the end of season playoffs:
Hull Kingston Rovers have appointed Chris Chester as the club’s head coach on a permanent basis, signed a three-year deal at the KC Lightstream Stadium.
The former Robins player and assistant coach was placed in temporary charge of all first team duties in July following the departure of Craig Sandercock.
Speaking to www.hullkr.co.uk, he said: “I’m absolutely delighted. It’s a dream come true for me and I’m going to do my utmost to get this side back to where it belongs.
“It’s a great honour and privilege to be the head coach of Hull Kingston Rovers and I want to put on record my thanks to the directors who have been fantastic with me over the past six weeks.
“It’s been a testing period with some ups and downs but I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity. I’ve not been afraid to make the big decisions, I’ve been honest with the players and they’ve been honest with me in return, so hopefully that will continue.
A former England Schools captain, Chester enjoyed spells with Halifax, Wigan, Hull FC and the Robins during a distinguished playing career and featured in two Super League Grand Finals as well as a Challenge Cup final.
Hanging up his boots in 2008 through injury, he joined Hull KR’s coaching staff following a brief spell working with Castleford’s academy and has served his apprenticeship as the assistant to both Justin Morgan and Sandercock over the past six seasons.
Hull KR have completed the re-construction of their new threequarter line with the signing of England Knights winger Kieran Dixon on a three-year contract from London Broncos.
Dixon has been recognised as one of the most promising talents in Super League since bursting onto the scene two years ago but a move to big-spending Salford fell through at the end of last season when he sustained a major knee injury playing for the Knights against Samoa.
Dixon, who made his Super League comeback in the Broncos' shock 40-36 win over Leeds on Sunday, when he took his try tally to 38 in 52 appearances, is the Robins' fifth new recruit for 2015 and will join Ken Sio, Josh Mantellato and Darrell Goulding in a new-look back line.
Dixon is the fourth confirmed London player to retain his Super League status following the Broncos' relegation to the Championship. Atelea Vea is joining St Helens and Denny Solomona and Matt Cook have secured moves to Castleford.
Forward James Donaldson has become the latest player from relegated Bradford to secure his Super League future by signing a two-year deal with Hull KR.
The 22-year-old second rower will link up with the Robins in November and becomes their fourth new recruit for 2015 following the addition of Wigan centre Darrell Goulding and overseas duo Ken Sio and Josh Mantellato.
Rovers coach Chris Chester said: "James is exactly the sort of player that we want to bring to the club in that he is young, hungry and works very hard at his game.
"He's got a good engine on him, he plays big minutes and he doesn't miss many tackles so he'll be a great fit for us."
A former England schoolboy international, Cumbria-born Donaldson has racked up close to 70 Super League appearances for the Bulls since making his debut in 2009.
"I feel like I've progressed a lot over the last few years but I know I've got a lot more to give and I feel the best place to do that is at Hull Kingston Rovers," he said.
"I've been at Bradford for seven years now and I needed a new challenge. I'm ready to be taken out of my comfort zone and hopefully something fresh will spark me up.
"I'll be working with new players, new coaches and new ideas, it's a totally
clean start for me to come here and I can't wait for it."
Donaldson is the fourth Bradford player to confirm his departure following their relegation to the Championship. Manase Manuokafoa is staying in Super League with Widnes, while Jamal Fakir and Brett Kearney are returning to France and Australia respectively.