Former Super League star second-rower Kenny Edwards has found himself a new club with the New Zealand born forward joining Queensland Cup side Mackay Cutters following his Castleford Tigers exit.
Edwards was confirmed as leaving the Tigers following their 2023 campaign in which they narrowly avoided relegation, placing 11th in Super League, following a battle to avoid the drop with local rivals Wakefield Trinity.
He had been with the club for two seasons having initially headed to the Jungle in 2022 on a loan deal from Huddersfield Giants, eventually playing 50 games for the Tigers during his two year spell at Wheldon Road.
His new side Mackay Cutters confirmed his signing via Facebook, stating: “The Mackay Cutters have secured another high-quality signing for seasons 2024 and 2025 in former NRL and Super League player Kenny Edwards 🏉
“Kenny is a skilful back-rower who played 70 games for the Parramatta Eels before heading to the UK Super League where he played a further 110 games for Catalans Dragons, Huddersfield Giants and the Castleford Tigers!
“His experience and leadership will be highly valued amongst the playing group and we look forward to seeing him in the Cutters jersey in 2024 💪 #mackaycutters”
The 34-year-old returns down under following a six season spell in Super League, initially joining Catalans Dragons in 2018 with whom he lifted the Challenge Cup during his debut season. That spell in Perpignan was followed by a move to Huddersfield before eventually landing with the Tigers who Edwards represented 25 times in the most recent season.
The decision to join the Cutters does come as somewhat of a shock given that Edwards announced his retirement in September, citing homesickness as being a key cause and that the decision had been long thought about. He had confirmed the news via the Tigers website, stating: “It’s been in the offing for 12 months, probably last year I was thinking about it.
“”I’ve enjoyed my time here so much so I put it to the back of my mind and signed the contract. It’s probably a year further on than I thought I’d retire. My body is breaking down a bit too, so now is the perfect time to move on.
“The club have got a young crop of players coming through next year so it’s time for me to move on. More than anything I just want to take my kids home, they’re missing Australia and they’ve been a big influence. They’ve been wanting to go home now for a couple of years. I’ve got a new opportunity in the next phase of my life so that’s another big reason.”
Referencing the fans, Edwards added: “The Cas fans have been awesome, particularly last year they were screaming at me to sign the contract. They’re a passionate set of fans and I know this season hasn’t gone as planned but, they’ve stuck with us.
“The Hull FC game was probably the most vocal I’ve been a part of. There’s a lot of good things to be excited about next year moving forward.”