Hull Kingston Rovers have signed former Huddersfield Giants prop Josh Johnson on a deal until the end of the season.
The 22-year-old returns to England after a short spell with Brisbane Broncos’ reserve grade club, Redcliffe Dolphins.
A former England academy prop, Johnson made over 30 appearances during his time at the Giants, having made his debut in 2013 as a teenager.
His arrival helps Tim Sheens bolster his pack, something he has been attempting to do since Dane Tilse retired during pre-season.
“I always fancied going to Australia and I enjoyed it over there,” Johnson said. “It was a good experience for me, rugby wise and off the field as well. I’ve always lived at home so it took me out of my comfort zone and I’m coming back a better player.
“I did a full pre-season out there which was probably the toughest I’ve done with the heat. I played five games as well so I’ve got some match fitness behind me, the timing is there and I’m coming back in good shape feeling as fit and as strong as I’ve ever been.
“It felt like it was time to come back and when this opportunity came up, I couldn’t turn it down. Hull KR are a big club and it’s a chance for me to come and work under Tim Sheens. He wanted another middle man so I need to repay the faith shown in me and show everybody what I can do.
“What you see is what you get with me, I just try to put in 100 per cent every week. I’m looking to do the basics right, run hard, tackle hard and do the tough stuff for the team. I only landed back in the UK yesterday but I can’t wait to get stuck into training with the boys, I’m really excited.”
Head coach Tim Sheens added: “Josh is an impressive young player who will strengthen our middle unit. He’s got a good build and he comes highly recommended by everybody we’ve spoken to about him.
“We’re very happy with the players we’ve already got in the forwards, but adding Josh brings extra depth and competition for places in the front row. He’s only been back in the country for a few days but if he settles in at training this week, he may well come into contention to play on Sunday.”