Featherstone Rovers continue signing spree with World Cup star ahead of Super League push

FEATHERSTONE ROVERS have continued their impressive off-season recruitment ahead of the 2023 Championship season with the addition of Papua New Guinea international prop McKenzie Yei.

Rovers have also retained the services of club captain James Lockwood.

Yei joins from Queensland Cup side Central Queensland Capras having previously played for PNG Hunters and was rated highly for his efforts during this year’s Rugby League World Cup where he made an impact in both defence and attack.

“I am really pleased that we have secured McKenzie’s signature, it’s a real coup for us. I’ve watched him over the last three years both at international and club level and he will add some real punch to our squad.” Said Head Coach Sean Long commenting on his latest recruit.

The 25 year old will join up with Sean Long’s side in the new year and is excited about the prospect of joining the club: “I am looking forward to a new career in the UK with a progressive club like Featherstone Rovers.

“I enjoyed playing in the UK during the World Cup and I was fortunate enough to meet the coach Sean Long, I am really excited to be working with him and carrying on a strong tradition of PNG players at Featherstone Rovers.

“I am looking forward to working hard and playing my part in pushing for promotion to Super League in 2023 and I appreciate the opportunity to be part of this club.”

Rovers CEO Martin Vickers added: “I think McKenzie is the missing piece of the puzzle that we have been looking for, he was clearly a threat to opponents during the World Cup and I’m pleased we’ve been able to land his signature.

“I have to highlight the fact that this signing has only been possible because of the immense show of support we’ve received from Featherstone supporters, be that through membership purchases or retail purchases, the dedication of our fans never ceases to amaze me, thank you.”

Rovers can also announce the retention of club captain James Lockwood, the enduring prop has committed for another year and is a big part of the head coach’s plans for 2023.

Long spoke on retaining Lockwood’s services saying: “I coached James when I was here in 2013, he is an exceptional leader and radiates all the qualities that we associate with this club; toughness, doggedness and determination.”

Lockwood commented: “I’m really pleased to be staying on for another season, I’m excited at the prospect of playing under Sean once again.

“I have worked hard on my fitness over the off season and feel as fit and ready as I ever have, we were disappointed as a squad with the way we ended last season and I want to be part of putting that right.”