Former Castleford Tigers Academy player Adam Rusling is targeting a first-team contract at Hull KR – after signing up to play for the Robins in the returning Reserves competition.
The stand-off was among five 18-year-olds handed a Tigers debut in July’s home Super League meeting with Salford, the game before the Challenge Cup Final clash with St Helens.
Winger Caelum Jordan, halfback Jack Sadler, hooker Cain Robb and backrow Nathan Magee also made bows in the 70-18 loss, which featured 17-year-old fullback Jason Qareqare, who made a try-scoring debut in the 30-12 home defeat by Hull in June.
West Hull product Rusling joined the Castleford development system at 15 but is now heading back to his home city.
Operating a second team is mandatory for all Super League clubs and those outside the top flight who run licensed Academies (Bradford, London Broncos and Newcastle). Catalans and Toulouse field their teams in the French domestic league.
A Reserve division was reintroduced in 2020, only to be put on hold by the pandemic.
Next year, it will run alongside an Under-18 Academy competition, with play-offs determining the respective champions.
Rovers, who could call on Dewsbury players for their second team after entering a dual-registration agreement with the Championship club, want Rusling to press his claims for a first-team deal alongside existing halfbacks Jordan Abdull, Mikey Lewis and Rowan Milnes.
“Once we found out Adam was available we were keen on him signing,” explained Rovers head of player development Jason Netherton.
“I got him in as soon as I could. I spoke to (chief executive) Paul Lakin and we’ve put Adam on a Reserve contract.
“He’s going to spend as much time as he possibly can training with the first team, hoping to impress the staff and earn himself a full-time contract.”
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