Categories
Hull KR Super League

KR confirm Johnson exit

Forward Josh Johnson has left Hull KR after the club confirmed his departure.

The former Huddersfield Giants man found first-team minutes hard to come by with the New Craven Park club and spent time last season with York City Knights and, latterly, Leigh Centurions. At 24-years-old, Johnson was keen to gain more match time and that is a view Hull KR supported with head coach Tim Sheens admitting that the club weren’t able to assure him of that. “Josh wanted to get more game time and, with the strength and numbers we have in the middle, game time is not something we could guarantee for him,” he told the media, adding both his and the club’s best wishes for the player’s future.

Thus far it is unclear what the future holds for Johnson with the Super League season less than a week away while the Betfred Championship campaign starts a week later. A move down to the second tier is likely although no clubs have publicly confirmed interest in the player as of yet.

Categories
Hull KR Super League

Minns hit with drugs ban

Former Hull KR centre Thomas Minns has been handed a sixteen-month ban after testing positive for cocaine, backdated to the date of the offence last March.

The 24-year-old, therefore, will be able to return to the sport as of mid-July. Minns tested positive for the drug after an in-competition test after the Robins match against Huddersfield Giants. The centre admitted to taking the drug on Mother’s Day after struggling to death with the death of his own.

UKAD’s Chief Executive, Nicole Sapstead, said: “All athletes must adhere to the principle of strict liability, regardless of whether or not they are deliberately seeking to gain an unfair sporting advantage.”

“It is an athlete’s responsibility to know what substances are in their system, and they must be aware that even if a substance is not banned out-of-competition, there is always the possibility of it remaining in their body for a period of time and it being detected in-competition.”

Categories
Hull KR Super League

Robins release squad numbers

Hull KR have announced the club’s squad numbers for their 2019 campaign with recently-capped England international Robbie Mulhern the big mover as the former Leeds man takes the number eight jersey.

After a storming maiden campaign in Super League last year for the Robins, 24-year-old Mulhern – who made his England debut against France last year prior to joining the England Knights squad on the Papua New Guinea tour – has cemented his place as one of KR’s first choice front-rowers. Experienced forward Mose Masoe joins him as the former St Helens’ prop continues in the number ten.

New signings Jimmy Keinhorst, Weller Hauraki, Mitch Garbutt, Kane Linnettand Josh Drinkwater have taken the numbers four, thirteen, fourteen, twenty-three and twenty-four respectively while Craig Hall, Ben Crooks and Joel Tomkins – mid-season arrivals last year – will wear two, three and eleven respectively. The players will wear their numbers for the first time this weekend when Hull KR face Widnes Vikings on Sunday at the Featherstone’s LD Nutrition Stadium. The match was initially planned to be held at KR’s KCOM Craven Park but issues surrounding safety due to a troublesome floodlight have seen it moved.

Full Hull KR squad number list

1. Adam Quinlan
2. Craig Hall
3. Ben Crooks
4. Jimmy Keinhorst
5. Ryan Shaw
7. Danny McGuire
8. Robbie Mulhern
9. Shaun Lunt
10. Mose Masoe
11. Joel Tomkins
12. James Greenwood
13. Weller Hauraki
14. Mitch Garbutt
15. Tommy Lee
16. Lee Jewitt
17. Chris Atkin
18. Nick Scruton
19. Junior Vaivai
20. Danny Addy
21. George Lawler
22. Ryan Lannon
23. Kane Linnett
24. Josh Drinkwater
25. Will Oakes
26. Will Dagger
27. Josh Johnson
28. Elliot Wallis
29. Joe Wardill
30. Owen Harrison
31. Adam Rooks
32. Mikey Lewis

Categories
Hull KR Super League

KR swoop for Cup winner

DRINKWATER
Image from Skysports.com

After leaving Catalans Dragons at the end of the 2018 campaign, many Super League clubs have been linked with Australian half back Josh Drinkwater – but Hull KR have now signed the influential pivot and he will report for training early in the new year.

Despite being one of the catalysts of the Dragons’ impressive turnaround in form and being vital to their Challenge Cup success, Steve McNamara saw fit to release the former Leigh and London man, instead favouring to sign St Helens’ Matty Smith. While Drinkwater admitted that he didn’t want to leave the Dragons, he was never likely to be starting his second consecutive season without an elite contract.

Warrington, Leeds and Wigan are just three of the clubs the 26-year-old has been linked with in the off-season but it is now being widely reported that Hull KR have finally completed his signing. Rumours of their interest emerged in the last few weeks but the club were waiting to get some money off the salary cap so, following Drinkwater’s signing, expect to see at least one player passing through the Robins’ exit door – Josh Johnson being the most likely.

Tim Sheens has been at pains to ensure his squad is based more on quality than quantity and his patience has been rewarded by bringing one of Super League’s best from 2018 into the club. Along with Chris Atkin and Danny McGuire, Drinkwater will present Sheens with options in the halves at Craven Park. In 21 appearances for the Dragons – after signing in April – he scored nine tries and kicked seventy-five goals as the French club ensured Super League survival by finishing in the top eight. Boasting a kicking game that some would say KR have been missing since Michael Dobson left, the Australian is likely to be a key player for Sheens’ team next year.

With twenty-two assists to his name in Super League alone last season, the threat and creativity posed by Drinkwater outline just why top-tier teams were interested in the four-time St George Illwarra player. It is clear why Sheens was keen to take him to Humberside and Drinkwater could be a key part of his plans to ensure KR compete away from the bottom of Super League next season.