Featherstone Rovers make major signing: Aussie-born star is another piece in promotion jigsaw

Promotion-chasing Featherstone Rovers have made another major signing.

Rovers have recruited Cook Islands international half-back Johnathon Ford, who captained Toulouse Olympique to Championship Grand Final victory against his new club last October.

The Australian-born playmaker, who is expected to arrive in England within the next two weeks, is Rovers’ second signing from Toulouse, following full-back Mark Kheirallah.

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Ford played for Newcastle Knights’ reserve grade side and in the NRL with Sydney Roosters before joining Toulouse in 2012.

Rovers coach Brian McDermott.Rovers coach Brian McDermott.
Rovers coach Brian McDermott.

He scored 54 tries in 190 games, but left the French club suddenly just weeks before their first game in Betfred Super League.

Of returning to the Championship with Rovers, Ford said: “I was speaking to Mark Kheirallah and he was rapping the place, loving it.

“That gave me the itch and the burn to do something special again.

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“I had a good chat with [Rovers chief executive] Martin Vickers and a good chat with Brian [McDermott, coach] and I’m really stoked and really grateful to be given this opportunity.”

Johnathon Ford. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.Johnathon Ford. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.
Johnathon Ford. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

Vickers commented: “We’ve said time and again we will leave no stone left unturned in trying to achieve our goal and this is another clear demonstration of that policy.

“The team’s performance on Good Friday [a 58-6 win over Barrow Raiders] shows we are getting there in delivering on the field.”

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