Maher plays the waiting game

Towering prop Will Maher is playing the waiting game on his Hull KR future after fullback Will Dagger penned a two-year contract extension and the club confirmed halfback Joe Keyes will be leaving after the play-offs.

Rovers, who head to Warrington for an elimination play-off tie on Friday, have been highly active in terms of retention as well as recruitment.

They followed up the Dagger deal by revealing that star winger Ryan Hall has added a further twelve months to a contract that already ran until next year, while ex-Bradford man Keyes will leave a year before his current deal ends.

Out-of-contract ex-Castleford man Maher’s future has yet to be clarified.

The Cumbrian has been at Rovers since last season, having had six years on the first-team scene at the Tigers.

While the departures of Warrington-bound centre Greg Minikin, forward George Lawler, who is set to join Castleford, Australian fullback Adam Quinlan and packman Owen Harrison have all been confirmed, Robins’ supporters are waiting to discover what is happening with Maher.

Dagger has joined back Ben Crooks and versatile Jimmy Keinhorst in agreeing to stay.

While those two signed one-year extensions, Dagger is on board until at least the end of 2023, and coach Tony Smith is looking forward to the further development of a player he also worked with at Warrington.

The Castleford-born Wolves Academy product, who is now 22, played four first-team games before joining Rovers in 2018, and has since made more than 30 appearances as well as having loan spells at York, Leigh and Featherstone, from where he has returned to impress in the absence through injury of Quinlan.

Going forward, Dagger will provide competition for star signing Lachlan Coote, who is joining from St Helens on a two-year contract.

“The extension is based on the way he applies himself on and off the field,” said Smith.

“We feel we’re going to be able to help him develop over the next few years.

“We want hardworking, talented young players coming through at the club. For his young age, he’s been around the professional game a long time now and we feel he can help us progress as a team.”

As well as Coote, Rovers have signed Huddersfield utility back Sam Wood and dipped into the lower leagues to land Featherstone second rower Frankie Halton, props Greg Richards (London Broncos) and Tom Garratt (Dewsbury) and Keighley’s highly-rated teenage fullback Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e.

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