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KR poach Warrington assistant

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.

Former Rhinos man heads to Hull as Rovers' assistant Credit: Press Association

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.

It’s a very different challenge but one that I’m very excited about to help a new coach and come to a club that’s really ambitious off the field as well as on the pitch. I’ve known Chris for a while and I was excited when we had a chat. It was an easy conversation to have and I like his ideas and his philosophies with what he’s trying to do here. Hopefully I can have a positive influence and pass on some of my experience to him, as well as learning from Chris himself and the players. There’s some guys in this squad who have been around the block for a while and there’s some young players really looking to make a mark, so it’s a good mix and they’ll have a say as well.

– Willie Poching

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.

Willie has learnt his trade under some very good coaches at some very successful clubs so we’re looking forward to what he will bring to Hull KR. He is very well thought of within the game and he’s got a lot of experience as both a player and a coach, so the input he will have into the culture at the club will be invaluable. I’ve known him since he first came over to the Super League with Wakefield and he has never lost his enthusiasm for rugby league. He’s a great person to have around the squad and he’ll have a big part to play in what we are trying to achieve here.

– Chris Chester, Hull KR Head Coach

Eden heading to NRL

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.

Hull KR full-back Greg Eden is heading Down Under Credit: ITV Yorkshire

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."



Rugby League braced for Hull derby

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:

Rovers appoint Chester as head coach

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.

Chester in 2011 Credit: Press Association

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, 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.

Chris Chester Credit:

“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.

Rovers sign Broncos' threequarter Dixon

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.

Kieran Dixon signs for Hull KR Credit: Press Association

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.

I wanted a new challenge and when I had the opportunity to come here I was very honoured. I'll be moving my family from one side of the country to the other so it is going to be a big change for us but one we are excited about.

There's a big history at the club and the derby was something that appealed to me too. I've been in London my whole life and there isn't anything like the rivalry in Hull down there.

I spoke to some boys that have played here and they say the city splits in two on derby day. I can't wait to be a part of it and show everyone what I can do for the red and white half of the city.

– Kieran Dixon

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.

Donaldson signs for Robins

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.

James Donaldson who has signed for Hull KR Credit: Press Association

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.

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