Hull KR have signed Hull FC pair Dean Hadley (above) and Jez Litten on a loan deal until the end of the season, that will then become permanent from 2020.
We reported a few weeks ago that both were set for moves to their cross-city rivals and with both players out of favour at their parent club, they have been allowed to join their new teammates early in deals that will see them remain at Craven Park until 2022.
Hadley, 26, arrives with a wealth of experience, having played 89 games for the Black and Whites as well as a loan spell at Wakefield , and was part of the England Knights squad for last Autumn’s test series against Papua New Guinea.
“It’s been quite a frustrating year for me really,” he said. “On the back of the last couple of years I felt like I’d improved on loan at Wakefield and I’d come back to Hull and started playing well in 2018. But this year hasn’t gone to plan. However, I see this as a great opportunity at Hull KR with so much still to play for in our season.
“The record of Tony (Smith, Robins head coach) speaks for itself – people I’ve spoken to have nothing but good words to say about him. I’ve had a brief chat with him and I’m looking forward to meeting up with the rest of the boys on Monday.
“I know Crooksy (Ben Crooks) from our time at FC as well as Robbie Mulhern and Chris Atkin from the Knights tour last year. But I am looking forward to that change of scenery which I feel that I needed. I’m excited to meet new team-mates and new faces.
“If Tony wants someone who can play big minutes, put in some hard graft and bring a bit of skill to the table, then that’s what I can do.”
Hooker Litten, 21, has only made 18 appearances for FC but is likely to get more game time at Rovers, following the retirement of veteran Tommy Lee.
He has, however, been benefitting from spending time on dual-registration with Doncaster this season: “I’ve been playing at Doncaster over the last few weeks and the opportunity to join Hull KR would have been silly to pass up on. I’m really looking forward to getting some first-team experience.
“I want to keep learning and adding things to my game, I just want to keep on improving myself.
“I’ve been watching Matt Parcell on TV recently and he’s great to watch, and hopefully I can bring similar sorts of things to the team that he has in the hooker position.
“I want to do my best for Rovers now and I can’t wait to get started. It’s good that I’m coming across with Dean (Hadley) because we’re pals but I know a lot of the younger lads like Owen Harrison, Adam Rooks and the rest which is good.”