Castleford Tigers back-row Grant Millington has been urged to help develop the club’s young forwards after signing a new deal.
The Australian, now in his third season since joining from Canterbury Bulldogs, has extended his contract until the end of 2015.
Millington, who scored a try in the opening-day win at Bradford, will look to use his experience to bring on the likes of Oliver Holmes, Dan Fleming and Charlie Martin.
Castleford coach Daryl Powell said has been “hugely impressed” with him as a leader and described the 27-year-old as a “natural rugby league player with a great instinct for the game”.
Millington, who will battle Catalan Dragons on Sunday, added: “Towards the back end of last season I re-signed for 2014.
“But, just before I went back to Australia for the off-season, Daryl Powell texted me and mentioned he was interested in keeping me for another season on top of that.
“My wife had a chat about it and we couldn’t think of any reason not to, so we are really happy to be here for 2015 too.
“The feeling around the club at the moment is great.
“Daryl’s asked me to help some of the younger forwards, too, with little bits in their game where a bit more experience may help so I’m relishing taking that on as well.”
Hull FC have recruited former Hull KR winger Liam Colbon on a one-year deal to increase competition as they await the arrival of Tom Biggs from Bath.
The robust ex-Wigan Warriors player, 29, has been without a club since leaving London Broncos at the end of last season
“Liam will offer us cover and depth on the wing with Jason Crookes injured and the situation with Tom Biggs still ongoing,” said Hull coach Lee Radford.
“I played against him on a number of occasions and he was a real handful to tackle.
“He brings plenty of grunt and intensity out of back field, which is what we’re after, and he adds to what both Tom (Lineham) and Fetuli (Talanoa) bring to the team.
“It’s healthy competition in there for us.
“He is coming for the right reasons and wants to get his career back on track. He’s weighed up his options after leaving London and wants to come here to prove himself and that’s what we want in players.”
Hull KR have lost winger David Hodgson for three months due to knee ligament damage suffered in the loss against Leeds Rhinos, while back-row Graeme Horne (abductor) is also doubtful for Sunday’s trip to Huddersfield.
Sheffield Eagles have suffered a blow as two-time Championship Grand Final winner Alex Szoktak is taking 2014 off to concentrate on his work in the NHS.
The Scotland second-row is a genetic technologist at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
n The Rugby League World Cup 2017 will be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand after beating off a “very strong” bid from newcomers South Africa.
Chairman of the bid committee and Rugby League International Federation Vice-Chair, Nigel Wood said: “This was not a simple decision but with fans of international rugby league buoyed by the recent success of RLWC2013, we were determined to get it right. Both bids were thoroughly compelling but the joint Australia/New Zealand bid was selected as the one with the greatest chance of success in providing more compelling games in world class environments in front of big, passionate crowds.
“The bid from South Africa was very strong, prepared professionally and clearly demonstrated a passion for rugby league that is growing by the day in that country.”