Hull KR prop Mitch Garbutt set for Championship move

Mitch Garbutt looks set to be on his way out of Hull Kingston Rovers.

League Express understands the forward has been in talks with Championship side Toulouse Olympique regarding a move ahead of the 2021 season.

The Australian, 31, is under contract with the Robins until the end of next season, however, it’s believed the two parties are in talks to cut ties in order for Garbutt to make a move to the French club next season.

He joined the club ahead of the 2019 season but a knee injury has troubled him for several months.

That resulted in him featuring in just three of the club’s seven games before lockdown.

However, Garbutt is seen as a key member of the Rovers’ pack given his sheer size, with the prop adding considerable power in an otherwise mobile, but light, forward roster. Head coach Tony Smith had already lost Mose Masoe but went about replacing him with former Leeds forward Nathaniel Peteru. Garbutt’s departure will still only add further emphasis on Smith’s quest to recruit a big forward to his squad ahead of the 2021 season.

With relegation now off the table, the Robins’ recruitment drive is expected to pick up. Smith said earlier this year that the sooner their Super League status was earned, the easier it would be to recruit. Though they haven’t secured their spot in the conventional way, the fact they have is expected to boost their recruitment hopes for next season.

Other clubs are understood to have shown interest but a move to the Championship hopefuls appears to be his most likely destination, with a deal thought to be at an advanced stage.