KR add duo to 2016 squad

Hull Kingston Rovers have completed the signings of Robbie Mulhern and Will Oakes on two-year deals.

Front-rower Mulhern joins the Robins after opting to leave Leeds Rhinos and switch to the KC Lightstream Stadium, where he will link up with old teammates Thomas Minns and Chris Clarkson.

The 21-year-old has made a handful of first team appearances for Leeds and is a former member of the England Under-18s squad, whilst he also made his full international debut for Ireland in last year’s European Championship.

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Oakes is at an earlier stage of his career but will look to continue his development in East Yorkshire after being selected for this season’s England Youth squad whilst with Wakefield.

Oakes will be available for selection for Chester and will be awarded a squad number having signed a first team contract, but he is expected to play the majority of his rugby for the new City of Hull Academy.

Chris Chester said: “We are really pleased to add two talented English players to our squad with international pedigree and we are looking forward to seeing both Robbie and Will continue their development with us.

“Robbie has come through a very good set-up at Leeds, he’s arrived in great shape and he’s gone straight into the first team squad for pre-season training this week. He’s a powerful forward with a strong carry but he has the ability to promote the ball as well and he’ll add real depth to our front row for next season.

“He’s ready for more regular game time and we are grateful to Leeds for not standing in the way of him coming here. We want dedicated and hungry players at the club and this is a chance for him to continue his progress, but we now have six genuine props challenging for a place in the side and he knows he’s got to work hard.

“As for Will, he has signed a first team deal but we’ll give him plenty of time to develop in the academy, although he’s already been training with the first team squad and he’s not looked out of place.

“He’s got speed and strength and he’s a natural finisher too, so he has all the tools to make it as a Super League player in the right environment. He’s one for the future and we’re excited that he sees his future here at Hull Kingston Rovers.

“We’re very happy with the squad we have put together so far for 2016 and we still have a bit of room to manoeuvre. Ideally, we’d like to bring in another forward but we won’t rush into anything and we’ll only add to our squad if the player is right for the club.”