Melbourne Storm stand-off Ben Roberts will join high-flying Castleford Tigers on a two-year deal at the end of the season.
The Samoa international, who featured in all their World Cup games last autumn, will be a straight replacement for the influential Marc Sneyd, the on-loan Salford Red Devils player who is joining Hull FC in 2015.
Sydney-born Roberts, who turns 29 tomorrow, said he was recommended the West Yorkshire club by Brent Sherwin, the Australian half-back who spent three years at Wheldon Road between 2008 and 2010.
“He’s a good friend and I spoke with him in regards to what his thoughts were and what his experience was like at the club,” said the ex-Canterbury Bulldogs and Parramatta Eels half-back.
“He had nothing but good things to say. That was very similar to what other people said, specifically about the club having a great culture and having good people working behind the scenes to get things going.”
Castleford have already signed his Melbourne team-mate Junior Moors for 2015 which should aid the transition, and coach Daryl Powell is pleased with the acquisition, especially as Roberts – an elusive runner who has also represented New Zealand – is a left-footed kicker like Sneyd.
“I am delighted to sign Ben, who is a player we tried to sign last season before his move to Melbourne,” he said. “Ben has years of NRL experience, but I really believe his best form is in front of him, and I am confident our club will see those years as we strive to constantly improve our performance levels.”
Hull KR have released prop forward Jonny Walker from his contract with immediate effect.
The 23-year-old former Huddersfield and Castleford player was dropped by the Robins, along with overseas player Wayne Ulugia, for disciplinary reasons last month. Hull KR have released Walker to enable him to pursue regular first team football elsewhere.