Robins in pole position for Takairangi

Hull Kingston Rovers are thought to be the frontrunners to sign Parramatta centre Brad Takairangi.

TotalRL revealed on Wednesday that both the Robins and Huddersfield were chasing the 31-year-old, who can play centre or second-row.

However, it’s believed the Giants have cooled their interest, leaving the Robins in prime position to secure his services

Takairangi, who played for New Zealand in 2017 World Cup, has spent eleven seasons in the NRL with Sydney Roosters, Gold Coast Titans and the Eels.

He has been released by the NRL club, leaving him a free agent, and he is considering a Super League switch.

The Robins have already added Ryan Hall to their backs department for next season, but with Kane Linnett being primed for a move into the second-row, Takairangi is likely to fill the void left in the outside backs.

It’s thought the club remains focused on also adding another forward, following the departure of Robbie Mulhern to Warrington in a deal that saw Luis Johnson move to Craven Park.

Tony Smith has centred his focus on recruiting forwards in the off-season before Mulhern’s departure.

Explaining the move for Johnson, Smith said: “He can play anywhere in the pack, that’s part of the appeal for us.

He can develop into a good middle player and he can also play on the edge. He’s going to strengthen us and give us more options and more depth.

“He can bust the line and also do some of the hard graft. We’re looking forward to him developing into that kind of player. I think a lot of people have recognised him in the game for becoming that kind of talent.

“He’s great to work with, ambitious and a nice young fella, he’s got the ability to become a very good, athletic player. He likes hard work and doesn’t shy away from it.”

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