RELEGATED Hull Kingston Rovers have further strengthened their bid for an immediate return to Super League by signing Scotland prop Ben Kavanagh on a two-year deal.
The former Wakefield Trinity and Widnes Vikings front-row spent last season at Bradford Bulls but became a free agent after they went into liquidation earlier this month.
Kavanagh, 28, could make his competitive debut against the re-formed Bradford given Rovers’ opening Championship fixture is against the Bulls on February 5.
Robins head coach Tim Sheens has been seeking another quality prop since veteran Dane Tilse announced before Christmas that he wanted to return to Australia.
Ex-Wigan Warriors academy product Kavanagh, who impressed for Scotland in the Four Nations and boasts more than 200 Super League appearances, certainly fits the bill.
He will join his new team-mates on their training camp in Tenerife next week and said: “Hull KR are still a massive club and they’re striving to get straight back into Super League, as am I.
“I’ve got aspirations to get back up there again after a year in the Championship last season and I want to achieve that with Rovers.
“Tim’s put together a really good squad with some quality players so I think we should be aiming to get that top spot and then kick on from there to hopefully get promotion in the Qualifiers.”
Kavanagh follows former Bradford colleagues Kieren Moss, Mitch Clark and Danny Addy to the East Yorkshire club.
Hull KR will not be short of front-row options for the rugged action expected in the Championship.
“Nick Scruton is over there so hopefully I can work well with him again,” said Kavanagh about his former Wakefield team-mate.
“And there’s some good young kids too in Mitch Clark who I played with at Bradford and Kieran Moran who was in the Scotland squad with me. There’s Robbie Mulhern as well so we’ve got a good group up front and hopefully we can have a big impact this year.”
Salford are confident of being able to secure a visa for controversial Australian Todd Carney after signing him on a 12-month contract.
The 30-year-old stand-off, who was international player of the year in 2010, was a free agent after being released by Catalans Dragons from the last two years of his contract in October.
Huddersfield were refused a visa for Carney when they tried to sign him eight years ago because of the player’s criminal record but Red Devils owner Marwan Koukash says his club have received positive advice.
“The visa situation is not in our hands, it’s up to the Home Office, but the fact that he came into the country when he was playing for Catalans and he hasn’t been in any trouble over the last two or three years puts us in a good position,” Koukash said.
“We’ve taken advice and we’re fairly confident that we’ll be okay. Hopefully he will be here within a couple of weeks. I’m very excited about it. Todd will bring quality to our side. We’ve got three class players in the halves competing for two places and this is what the coach wanted.”