HULL KR head coach Tim Sheens has thanked Catalans Dragons after they eased his injury crisis by agreeing to loan out France prop Antoni Maria on a one-month loan deal.
Rovers are suffering from a lack of front-rows after Mitch Garbutt injured his knee during the warm-up on Easter Monday, joining Mose Masoe and Nick Scruton on the sidelines.
Maria, 32, is set to make his debut in Sunday’s game at Leeds Rhinos as Sheens’s side bid to start making amends after conceding 110 points in their two Easter defeats to Hull FC and Warrington Wolves.
“It’s common knowledge we’re in a bit of trouble with so many senior props out and made worse by Mitch Garbutt going in for surgery (on Thursday),” he said. “It’s four weeks max, two if we’re lucky and we are underdone in that area. The owner and the club have given us an opportunity to look in the market which is not always easy around Easter but Catalans were good to us.
“He (Maria) is an experienced player and we are desperate for that within the group.”
Maria, who can also play back-row, is in his second spell at Catalans and played alongside Robins players Ben Crooks and Josh Drinkwater during a season at Leigh Centurions in 2017.
Sheens also hopes to have another front-row – Ryan Lannon –back from ankle surgery for Sunday’s game.
Meanwhile, Leigh have re-signed Toronto Wolfpack scrum-half Ryan Brierley on a month’s loan, three years after he controversially left for Huddersfield Giants.
Castleford Tigers captain Michael Shenton has been ruled out for up to 10 weeks after suffering an ankle injury during Monday’s in Perpignan.