Hull Kingston Rovers have laid down a promotion marker ahead of the 2017 campaign by signing Australian speedster Adam Quinlan on a two-year contract.
A quick and elusive full-back who can also play in the halves, Quinlan boasts NRL experience with St George and was part of the Illawarra Cutters side which won last season’s Intrust Super Championship.
The 24-year-old has been a stand-out performer in reserve grade Down Under, also previously playing alongside the club’s fellow new recruit Jake Butler-Fleming at the Wentworthville Magpies, and ran in six tries during 11 Super League appearances for St Helens during a short spell at the club in 2015.
A proven try-scorer and creative threat when linking into the attacking line from full-back, Quinlan is set to play a major role in the Rovers’ quest for an immediate return to Super League: “I feel very privileged to be offered the opportunity to come and play for Hull KR. When I played in Super League a couple of seasons ago, Rovers were a big team and they still are so it’s a great opportunity for me to come over and represent a good club.
“It came as a bit of a shock to me to hear they had been relegated but, from what I’ve heard, I think we’ve got what it takes to bounce back and get the club back into Super League where they belong. I’m truly excited to help do that.
“I really enjoyed my time over in the UK the last time I was there so this was a no-brainer for me when I got the offer. The style of play over there suits my game a lot more. There’s a lot of off-loads and it’s more free-flowing, so it really benefits how I like to play.
“It’s not going to be ideal coming over a bit later in pre-season but I’m sure my time over there before will stand me in good stead. Hopefully I’ll get used to things pretty quickly.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Tim (Sheens) as well. I’ve never played under him before but he was another big factor in me coming over. I’ve played with a few guys who have been coached by him and I’ve heard nothing but good things. He’s a Grand Final winner in the NRL and an international coach so he knows what he’s doing and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from him.”
Head coach Sheens added: “Adam’s speed will be really important for us as well as his experience out the back. He’s a good talker who organises the line and he’s played in the halves too. That’s what you want from your number one, somebody who can move the ball and provide another option.
“He’s had a great year winning the State Cup in New South Wales and then beating the Queensland side to be Australian champions. He’s been in good form and he’ll be a great fit for us with the style we want to play.
“With the recent injury to young Matty Marsh, we wanted to bring in a specialist full-back. We’ve still got Benny Cockayne and both Andrew Heffernan and Ryan Shaw have been filling in there in training so we’re not lacking numbers in that position, but using them means we’re then a bit short in other areas.
“Adam is a really good signing for the club who has experience of playing in England previously for St Helens and whilst it’s unlucky for Marshy, he’ll learn a lot from him.
“Matty’s got a chance of playing towards the end of the year and he can play a bit at 7 as well, so he’s still a big part of our plans going forward.”