Barely eight months after Huddersfield Giants coach Nathan Brown labelled him Britain’s very own Billy Slater, Greg Eden has found himself discarded and moved on to Hull KR.
The exciting full-back who caused such fervour in the opening rounds of last season, being rated as one of Super League’s brightest talents and drawing comparison to the Australia legend, yesterday joined Rovers after the clubs agreed an undisclosed fee.
It completes an eventful, perhaps surreal, year for the player who turned 22 yesterday and savoured his England Knights debut only last month.
Eden had made just three appearances with hometown Castleford Tigers before joining much-fancied Huddersfield for the beginning of the season.
He was surprisingly thrust straight into the starting line-up but made an instant impact with his dynamic running and attacking skills.
In March, a brilliant display as Giants defeated champions Leeds Rhinos at Headingley to go top of Super League, prompted Brown to rave “he can do things most other players in this competition or the NRL can’t do; the sky’s the limit for that kid.”
Eden duly signed a new three-year deal in May but then, just as his side’s performances tailed off in alarming circumstances, some of his own displays also became increasingly erratic. Brown was sacked in July after their Challenge Cup semi-final defeat and it became clear Eden – who scored 12 tries in 27 games – was not seen as a regular by Paul Anderson.
He views Scott Grix and Aaron Murphy competing for the No1 role next season and, so, the player has been allowed to sign a three-year deal at Craven Park.
Hull KR have been scouring the market for a full-back since Australian Shannon McDonnell announced in May he would not be staying with the club and eventually joined city rivals Hull FC.
Hull, meanwhile, have seen forward Mike Burnett forced to retire at the age of just 24 following three back operations in nine months.
“I spoke to the specialist last week and he told me that’s it,” Burnett said. “It’s not nice to hear that sort of news its gutting but it’s part of the game we play, it could happen to anyone.
“It’s been a really tough year for me and I’ve had three operations in nine months. It’s a slow process with having to speak to so many specialists. The injury’s really interfering with my everyday life and I’m struggling to do normal things let alone start any rehab.
“It’s pretty bad at the moment, but I’m staying in close contact with the medical staff at Hull FC and hopefully over the next year or so I’ll start to see some signs of improvement.”
London’s veteran half-back Craig Gower has agreed a new contract which will keep him with the club until the end of 2014.