Giants’ Lunt makes shock switch to Hull KR

FORMER England hooker Shaun Lunt looks to have played his last game for Huddersfield Giants having joined Hull KR in a surprise loan deal for the rest of the season.

Hull KR signing Shaun Lunt

Lunt, who is out of contract with Huddersfield at the end of the season, had started three of their four games so far this season but was left out of the 19-man squad for tomorrow’s fixture with Castleford Tigers with Luke Robinson returning.

Hull KR announced earlier today that their Australian prop Mick Weyman had retired due to a knee injury and, so, Super League’s bottom side have moved swiftly to strengthen their pack.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Lunt was a key part of Giants’ 2013 League Leaders’ Shield success, the year after winning a Grand Final while on a season-long loan at Leeds Rhinos, but there is now stiff competition for the hooking role at Huddersfield with Robinson, Kyle Wood and Jamie Ellis, their winter signing from Castleford Tigers, all able to operate there.

Giants have won just one of their opening four games so far and Lunt, who hopes to debut against Catalan Dragons at KC Lightstreams Stadium on Sunday, said: “Things have not gone as planned at the start of the season with Huddersfield and I’m very grateful for this opportunity at Hull KR.

“I’m 27 now, I’m in the last year of my contract and I need to be playing regularly so I want to take this chance with both hands.

“I want to come here, keep my head down and work hard, and do my business on the pitch.

“There’s some great players here and the club has always played an expansive style of rugby, so hopefully I can add to that for the rest of the season.

“I know a few of the boys already like Benny Cockayne, James Donaldson and Graeme Horne, but I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the lads and getting stuck in.

“I’ll be putting my name forward for Sunday and hopefully I can take part.”

Rovers have been short of a vastly-experienced hooker given England’s Josh Hodgson, their co-captain last term, has moved on to NRL side Canberra Raiders.

France hooker John Boudebza, 24, came in from Lezignan and has featured so far but this is his first season in Super League while Keal Carlile - who worked with Lunt at Huddersfield and is also 24 - is talented but has only started seven league games in his career so far.

Lunt, who joined Giants from Workington Town at the end of 2008, has scored 65 tries in 122 Super League appearances.

Hull KR head coach Chris Chester said: “We’re thrilled to have Shaun on board for the rest of the season.

“He is a quality player with plenty of experience at the highest level and I’m sure he’ll fit right in.

“It was disappointing to lose a player of Mick’s calibre but we’ve acted quickly to bring in Shaun and strengthen a key position for us on the field.

He’s a strong defender and a real threat out of dummy half. Hopefully he’ll add another dimension to our play and we’re really looking forward to working him.”