Former Hull KR and Hull FC outside back makes surprise move ahead of 2023

Keighley Cougars have been making some really impressive signings recently as the newly promoted Cougars prepare for life in the Championship after an excellent season in League 1 saw them earn promotion.

Since then they’ve outlined their ambitions with some statement signings like stealing Tom Doyle away from local rivals Bradford as well as Super League man Brad Walker from Wakefield.

But perhaps their biggest signing has been confirmed tonight in the shape of Ben Crooks.

The former Hull FC and Hull KR outside back can play anywhere in the three-quarters and has backs of experience bursting onto the scene in 2013, playing in a Challenge Cup Final and earning a move to the NRL.

A surprising move to see him join Keighley, he has revealed that it was the ambition of the club that has tempted him: “I joined Keighley because they are an ambitious club on the rise.

“I know a couple of the players already who all say nothing but good things about the place.

“After speaking with Rhys and Hendo, I got really excited at the prospect of being a part of what they are wanting to build at the club.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing a more senior role in a predominantly youthful side as well as playing the best Rugby League I can to add on to what was a very successful 2022 for the club.

“And the way we do that as a collective group is to be competitive in the Championship in 2023.

“I feel I’ve still got a lot of years of quality Rugby League left in me, so hopefully I can do that here at Keighley.”

Head of Rugby Andrew Henderson added: “Ben brings undoubted quality and experience to our team.

“He has established himself as a quality Super League player during his career, who at 29 years of age could still be playing at the highest level.

“With a few of our older heads retiring or leaving the club, it was important we brought a player of Ben’s quality and experience to balance out our squad.

“He is a proven try scorer but also isn’t afraid to do the tough work needed out of back field.

“From what I’ve seen of Ben, I admire the way he competes, which will fit well here in this team.

“Ben is looking forward to the challenge of playing in this competition and adding value to the playing group both as a player and as a role model to our younger players.

“We are very excited to have secured his services and look forward to seeing him in action for the Cougars.

“As always we extend a warm welcome to Ben and his family to Keighley.”

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