Hull Kingston Rovers have announced the signing of former Australian international and State of Origin playmaker Terry Campese for the 2015 campaign.
The ex-Canberra Raiders skipper has signed a one-year contract at the KC Lightstream Stadium and will become the club’s 13th new signing for Super League XX subject to receiving the necessary paperwork.
An experienced half back who has captained the Green Machine for the past three seasons, the 30-year-old has racked up more than 100 appearances in the NRL as well as earning representative honours with Australia, New South Wales and the Country Origin side.
Set to add both leadership and creativity to a young Rovers squad next season, Campese told www.hullkr.co.uk he is excited about joining the Robins and is determined to prove himself to the club’s supporters.
“I have been at the Raiders my whole career but it is time to move on. This is a new challenge for me and one I am really looking forward to it. Looking at all the squads over there, ours is one that is strong and can definitely compete with the top sides but I have done a fair bit of research on Hull as well and it is a place that I think I’ll like.
I am excited, I cannot wait and I am looking forward to experiencing the Super League competition. My main goal is to try to help the club to go up the table and improve on where they finished last season.
Leadership is something that I pride myself on and I love working with the younger players. I am sure that will still be the case at Hull and hopefully we can have a successful year and challenge for that top eight position.
I have signed up for one year which was a big thing for me. I would like to stay longer than that as I feel I have got some good footy left in me, but it’s down to me to prove that. I want to come over there, play the best football I can and hopefully be successful with Hull KR.”
Capable of playing at stand off or scrum half, Campese made his Canberra debut in 2004 and has also had a big impact off the field in the Australian capital, receiving the Ken Stephen Medal last year in recognition for his community work with the Raiders and raising more than $300,000 for local charities via his own Terry Campese Foundation.
“Terry is a true professional who has played at the very highest level and he will bring a wealth of knowledge to the squad next year.
We have lost a bit of experience from last season and it was important we brought in players with leadership qualities to complement a young and exciting crop of players at the club. Alongside the likes of Mick Weyman and Ryan Bailey, Terry will be a real leader for us. He is a great organiser who can guide us around the park and he has also got an exceptional long and short kicking game.
It is no secret that we have been in the market for a hooker and while we have not quite been able to get a deal over the line, we are more than happy to run with what we have got in that position and bringing in a playmaker of Terry’s calibre was an opportunity we could not afford to pass up.
He gives us some strength in depth and competition for places in the halves and his experience will take the pressure off Albert Kelly in particular and free him up to play his natural game.”
Hull KR have signed experienced NRL prop Mitchell Allgood on a three-year deal.
The 25-year-old will add another physical presence to the Robins pack next season after signing for the club from Parramatta Eels.
Allgood has racked up 70 first team appearances for the Eels and was also selected in the 2012 City Origin side.
He is the club’s 12th signing for next season, not including Academy Player of the Year Matty Marsh who has also been added to the first team squad, and the Sydney-born prop will link up with his new teammates subject to receiving the necessary visa and paperwork.
Mitch is a big, strong and athletic prop with a good leg drive who will really add a lot to our pack next season. We lost a bit of power up front from last year’s squad but with Ryan Bailey and now Mitch coming in, we’re really pleased with finding two high quality front rowers. Like Ryan, Mitch will bring plenty of size and aggression out on the pitch but he is a great bloke off the field as well. He comes here at a good age and for the right reasons so we are delighted to have him on board.
Hull Kingston Rovers have snapped up Leeds Rhinos forward Ryan Bailey on a two-year contract as the club continues to bolster its squad for the 2015 season.
A former England and Great Britain international, the prop is one of the most decorated players in Super League having won six Grand Finals, three World Club Challenge titles and one Challenge Cup with the Rhinos.
I’ve achieved a lot of things at Leeds over a 14-year period but I’m ready for a new challenge at Hull KR.
We’ve got a big game at the start of the season against Leeds and that will be a perfect way to hopefully make my debut. I know from experience that the ground is a daunting place to go to, it’s tough for opposition teams and we’ve got to make the most of that.
I know the ins and outs of all the players at Leeds so hopefully I can pass on a few things to Chezzy and we can get a win first game of the season to get us up and running.
Making his Super League debut for Leeds at the age of 18 in 2002, Bailey has gone on to rack up more than 300 appearances for his hometown club and was granted a testimonial last season for his service to the Headingley side.
Ryan is a fantastic signing and an important one for the club.
With Justin Poore retiring, we lost a lot of experience there and a bit of grunt up front and that’s what Ryan brings to the table. He has a wealth of experience at Super League level and also in big games.
He’s a great athlete, a good trainer and a wonderful player. He gives the impression that he’s a player who plays to the boundaries of the rules at times but he’s aggressive and that’s what you need in a front rower sometimes.
Hull KR's Justin Poore has confirmed his retirement from rugby league following a knee injury.
The 29-year-old enjoyed a successful career in both Super League and the NRL which saw him make 209 appearances.
Poore joined Wakefield Wildcats before moving to Hull where he impressed Robins fans during his stay.
The Australian fractured his knee cap on Easter Monday against Catalan Dragons and despite having successful surgery and rehab, Poore has decided to return home.
Poore said: "It's never an easy call to make but I know it's the right decision for me, my family and for the club as well.
"My knee has been responding well to treatment but the feedback from the medical staff is that I run the risk of damaging it further if I was to return.
"The contact might mean I would never be able to walk properly again and that's not a risk I want to take."
Halifax have signed former Hull KR winger Alex Brown from Leigh.
"Alex played plenty of Super League for Hull KR in 2013, so he’s had some success at the top level,” said Halifax coach Richard Marshall.
“I’m not sure why things didn’t work out for him at Leigh, but he’s at the stage now where needs to settle down and enjoy his rugby again.
“He is a big, strong player who will add some size and speed to the backline. We’ve got three specialist wingers in Alex, Tommy Saxton and Gareth Potts and they all bring something slightly different to the team.
“I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen of Tommy; he gets his nose through the line and gets the team moving forward.
“I’ll be looking for Alex to do something similar and I’m sure it’s going to be a great competition between those three for the wing spots."
Marshall has also added to his backroom team, with long-serving Swinton player and coach Marlon Billy being appointed as his assistant for 2015.
"Marlon has been pretty much a one-club man, which says a lot about his honesty and his strength of character,” said Marshall.
"I spoke to a few people, but Marlon showed a lot of desire to come here and he’s excited about progressing his own career as a coach.
"I played with him at Swinton, coached him at Swinton, and he’s someone who will do a good job for us.
"He was a back as a player, which I felt was important, he’s reasonably local and he’s got a good knowledge of the Championship, the teams in it, the players in it.
"I used to bump into him at Warrington when Swinton were training there and I’ve had a few conversations with him about coaching.
"His philosophy fits with mine and he’s not afraid to ruffle a few feathers either, which is good."
Hull KR have confirmed the signing of French hooker John Boudebza from Lezignan.
The 24-year-old joins the Robins on a 12-month contract, with the option for a second year at the KC Lightstream Stadium, and will help plug the gap created by the departure of Josh Hodgson.
John has impressed in the competition over in France and, from what I've seen of him, I'm positive he can adapt to playing in Super League.
He is a talented young kid who we've been monitoring for a number of weeks now. He knows it will be a big challenge and that he will have to earn a chance to play in the side but he has backed himself by coming over here.
Boudebza, who came through the ranks at Catalans Dragons and also had a spell with Pia, will join up with former Dragons forward Kevin Larroyer at the Robins.
An opportunity was offered to me at Rovers and, after talking with Kevin Larroyer, I realised how big a chance it was.
He spoke of the warm reception he had from the fans and of a good coach and players. Hull KR are very ambitious and I realised it was the club for me.
Hull KR have signed Gold Coast Titans half-backs Albert Kelly and Maurice Blair as the replacements for departed overseas pair Travis Burns and Kris Keating.
Both Kelly, 23, and Blair, who turned 30 on Thursday, were under contract with the Titans for another 12 months but were released to enable them to sign two-year deals with the Robins.
Their capture takes the club's tally of new signings to eight for the 2015 season as head coach Chris Chester rebuilds the side that failed to reach the First Utility Super League play-offs this year.
Burns was sold to St Helens while Keating was released by mutual consent after a disappointing first season in England.
"They're two very exciting players and we're really pleased to add them to our squad for next season," Chester said.
"They both have good kicking games, they're strong defenders and we are expecting Albert in particular to set the Super League on fire in the halves.
"We've done our homework on the pair of them and we are really confident they will be a good fit both for the club and the Super League competition.
"I'd still like to bring another half-back in as well as these two. The good thing about Maurice is that he can play left centre as well and he'll also be challenging for a spot in the team in that position."
Kelly, a former Australian schoolboy international, has scored 18 tries in 47 appearances for the Titans and Cronulla while Blair has made 99 NRL appearances for Penrith, Melbourne and the Titans.
Titans head coach Neil Henry said: "They were given a rare opportunity to play together as halves by Hull KR and they get the security of two-year deals.
"We feel we have good depth in the halves here so we agreed to allow Albert to take this opportunity in the Super League and, at 30, Maurice has the chance to extend his career which we are also happy to accommodate. We wish them both great success over there."
Hull KR winger David Hodgson is to hang up his boots and become the club's assistant coachRead the full story ›
Hull Kingston Rovers assistant first team coach Stanley Gene has left the club with the former Papua New Guinea international now expected to take up a full-time role with Gateshead.
Gene, who made more than 170 appearances for the Robins as a player, has divided his time this season between his position at the KC Lightstream Stadium and working part-time as head coach of the Thunder.
Steering KR’s partner club to the play-offs in Championship 1, he is now set to take up a full-time position in the North East after Rovers boss Chris Chester opted to bring in his own staff for 2015.
I’m disappointed that I won’t be staying at Rovers, a club that means a lot to me, but I wish everybody here all the best for next season.
I had a chat with Chezzy when he took over about what he had in mind for next year and he was up front about wanting to bring his own people in. It was tough to take at first but I understand his reasons why.
I’ve learned a lot over the past three years and I’m grateful to Hull KR for giving me an opportunity to come back to the club after my playing days finished. I love the club and the fans and I leave with some great memories. I’ll be in the stands supporting the team as often as I can next season and who knows, maybe I’ll be back here as a coach one day.
You have to move on in life and I’m excited about taking on a bigger role at Gateshead. I’m really proud of what the team achieved this season and my focus now is on having another good year in 2015.
Sheffield Eagles have signed former Bradford captain Jamie Langley from Hull KR.
The 30-year-old forward, who won every domestic honour during an 11-year spell with the Bulls, has signed a two-year contract with the Championship club and will also be part of their coaching team.
Sheffield head coach and chief executive Mark Aston said: "We are delighted that Jamie has chosen to join us. I am looking forward to working with him both as a player and as a coach.
"We have a relatively young forward pack and his knowledge and experience will be invaluable to them.
"I am sure that Jamie will quickly become a fans' favourite and build on the reputation he has already gained from his experiences in both Super League and International rugby."
Langley, who was not offered a new contract by Hull KR, said: "It's a new challenge for me and I'm really excited to get going. When I was weighing up my options, I spoke to a few of the Sheffield lads and none of them had a bad word to say about the club."
Langley, who won his only Great Britain cap against France in 2007, is looking forward to cutting his coaching teeth with the Eagles.
"I'm going to be playing first and foremost and I want to play on for as many years as possible," he said.
"Helping on the coaching side of things is really appealing to me at this stage. I feel like I have a lot to offer having worked under some great coaches during my career. You learn little bits from each one and hopefully I can part with some of that wisdom myself."