Over the years plenty of brilliant NRL forwards have headed to Super League to ply their trade with the most notable of the current crop being Warrington Wolves’ Paul Vaughan.
Another team who recruited from the NRL for their forward pack this year was Hull KR with both Jesse Sue and Rhys Kennedy joining from down under.
Up until his injury Sue was a mainstay in the Rovers pack and since then Kennedy has truly stepped up and showed his credentials.
There was however talk of another NRL forward heading to Craven Park, an even bigger name this time though, with Newcastle Knights’ Tyson Frizell strongly linked.
Rovers coach Willie Peters has heavy ties with Newcastle and he confirmed that it wasn’t merely a rumour that Rovers were in for the State of Origin forward, but indeed fact.
“Yeah, no, definitely was. Had a few conversations with Tyson and his management and yeah, it was a decision he had to make and obviously stayed in Newcastle.
“But I think we’re showing where we’re going as a club because from what’s been reported, it was us and Newcastle in that last week that he had to make the decision on.
“So I think it shows that where we’re heading as a club. I think it shows that we can attract some big names. Obviously Tyson staying at Newcastle but I’ve got a really good relationship with the guys there, an affiliation with the club and he’s settled, he bought a house but he’s certainly, we were certainly in the picture and it was a tough decision for him to make. But he’s staying at Newcastle. I think it shows where we’re heading as a club.”
At that time it hadn’t been confirmed by Newcastle what Frizell was doing, so whilst Peters had closed the door somewhat it still wasn’t fully shut.
That’s changed now though with the news that Frizell has signed on for 2024 with options for a further two years in 2025 and 2026, both in the player’s favour.
Current teammate and former Man of Steel Jackson Hastings reacted to the news on social media.
Huge for the club. 🤝 https://t.co/3nZSwsQlve
— Jackson Hastings (@JackoHastings) July 27, 2023
Whilst Rovers have missed out for 2024 the fact that both 2025 and 2026 are player activated optional years could mean that Frizell does opt to head to Super League, in which case Rovers will potentially offer again.