An English adventure to begin for veteran forward Korbin Sims as Hull KR come knocking

Korbin Sims at the St George Illawarra Dragons

In order to take up his deal with Hull KR, the St George Illawarra Dragons have released Korbin Sims from the remainder of his contract.

Sims, a veteran forward of the game, played in 21 NRL games for the Dragons over the past two seasons.

Subject to visa approval, Sims will don the Hull KR jersey for the next two seasons.

With over 140 NRL appearances for the Brisbane Broncos, Newcastle Knights, and the Dragons, Sims has plenty of experience.

Although he needed time to think about the move to England, he knew it was a good chance to move his career forward.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity that has presented itself for me and my family,” Sims said.

“I’m excited about the chance to get over to England – I’ve only been there once with Fiji in the RLWC 2013, so the next two years are going to be really interesting.

“When my manager had told me that there had been some interest from England and Rovers, I was a bit taken aback at first, but when I really thought about it, I saw it as a great opportunity to further my football career.”

“‘I’ve actually spoken to Tony a number of times over the last couple of days and he wanted to get to know me.”

Sims also said he was pleased to join a club that is on the rise and he cannot wait to get stuck in.

He knows my brother Ashton really well from his time in England – the first thing he said to me was I sounded just like him,” Sims continued.

“I wasn’t sure whether it was a compliment or an insult!

“The way he was speaking about myself and the other people coming over, the people that he’s already got, and the way Hull KR are moving forward into the future, makes me feel it’s going to be an exciting time to build this proud club.

“I’m looking forward to getting over there and meeting everyone as soon as possible.”

Korbin Sims during his Brisbane Broncos playing days

Knowing they need to strengthen their pack, Hull KR coach Tony Smith believes Sims is a nice addition to their squad.

“He’s an important part of the jigsaw, we have been keen to strengthen our forward pack and we are certainly doing that with Korbin,” Smith said.

“He brings international as well as NRL experience. He’s a guy that gives everything every time he walks onto the pitch.

“He’s very professional in his approach to his game and he is always looking to develop.”

His versatility and approach to the game are also key attributes that Smtih praised.

“He can play anywhere in the forward pack. On the edge or in the middle,” the Hull KR coach continued.

“He’s got the skill levels to play some loose forward with that tough, no nonsense attitude, combined with good rugby awareness.

“He comes from a rugby league family, so he’s been brought up on it, he lives and breathes it.”

Korbin Sims during his Newcastle Knights playing days

Tigers to have fullback competition from 2022 with signing of Laurie

2022 Wests Tigers signing Daine Laurie

There were glimpses of his talent during his brief Penrith Panthers appearances but Daine Laurie will have a chance to show it often, signing with the Wests Tigers.

The talented fullback played three games in 2020 and will look to build on that with Penrith in 2021 and then with the Tigers from 2022.

The Grafton Ghosts junior is highly rated by his peers and several clubs and Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe is excited to have him from 2022.

“Daine is one of the best young fullbacks in the game and we’re very excited to see him take the next steps in his rugby league career with the Wests Tigers,” Pascoe said.

“His commitment to the future of Wests Tigers highlights the strong squad and future that Coach Michael Maguire is delivering for this club.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming Daine into our colours at the start of the 2022 season.”

 

Glasby returns to Storm in off-field role

Tim Glasby in his playing days for the Melbourne Storm

Tim Glasby started his career with the Melbourne Storm and will return to the club in an off-field role.

Glasby’s new role will be the club’s Recruitment Manager and Pathways Officer, based on the Sunshine Coast.

After playing 138 NRL games, Glasby retired due to ongoing concussion symptoms and will replace the outgoing Dane Campbell.

Glasby won the 2017 premiership with the Storm, a World Club Challenge, and spent six years with the club.

He would then join the Newcastle Knights and play five games for the Queensland Maroons.

Glasby is pleased to return to the club where it all began in a new role.

“I’m really excited to be back at the club that first gave me a chance to play NRL back in 2012,” Glasby said.

“I had a great time as a player here over six seasons and I’m now looking forward to coming back in a new and different role for me.”

Glasby looks forward to the challenge of the new role and learning from those within the successful Storm system.

“It’s a great challenge but I have some great people to learn from and a great system at Storm that has delivered so much success over the years,” Glasby continued.

The Storm knows that having Glasby back at the club is a boost for them when it comes to identifying talent.

“We know from his six years at the Club, Tim is an outstanding character who always conducted himself in an extremely professional and highly respected manner,” Storm General Manager of Football Frank Ponissi said.

“We are delighted to have Tim back at Melbourne Storm and we have no doubt he will add great value to our recruitment and development programs.”

Former Newcastle Knights prop Tim Glasby

Knights sign Hodgson, nephew of star English hooker Josh Hodgson

Newly signed Newcastle Knights player Bailey Hodgson

The family ties will continue in the NRL with Bailey Hodgson to join uncle Josh Hodgson in the NRL, after signing with the Newcastle Knights.

Hodgson’s former club Castleford and the Knights came to an agreement on an undisclosed transfer fee.

Hodgson, who has talent in spades, will likely lean on his uncle for support when it comes to playing regularly in the NRL.

Hodgson’s family praised Castleford on Twitter and highlighted the happy memories he has had at the club.

Hodgson’s deal at the Knights is for three seasons and he will join the club in pre-season after his mandatory quarantine.

An English youth international, the signing of Hodgson gives the Knights some extra depth in their backline for 2021.

The English flavour is growing at the Knights, as he joins compatriot Dominic Young at the club.

Still young and developing, Knights Head of Recruitment Clint Zammit says Hodgson will be given every chance to develop.

“Bailey is an exciting prospect, he is a natural athlete with great balance and footwork,” Zammit said.

“For the past 13 months, I have watched him continue to develop rapidly.

“His willingness to work hard and compete in every aspect has allowed him to play in the Super League, despite his age.

“Whilst he is only young, he will be afforded all the time and resources required to allow him to grow into a player that we anticipate will have a long career at the Knights.”

Although disappointed to see a promising player go, Castleford wishes Hodgson all the best in his NRL adventure.

“We would like to wish Bailey all the best in Australia, it’s a challenge he always wanted to take on,” Castleford’s Head of Youth Performance Darren Higgins said.

“Bailey’s progress is not only great recognition for his own hard work and dedication but for our youth provision with many people involved in this process.

“In particular, Danny Evans has had a profound impact on Bailey’s development, which I know Bailey is really appreciative of.”

Newly signed Newcastle Knights player Bailey Hodgson

Roberts to link up with Maguire again as he signs on at Tigers

Newly signed Wests Tigers centre James Roberts

His off-field issues have been well documented but James Roberts is a gifted player and the Wests Tigers will look to utilise his talents.

Roberts, who was most recently a South Sydney Rabbitohs player, was released by the club as he looked to get his life back on track.

Previously, Roberts had stints with the Penrith Panthers, the Gold Coast Titans, and the Brisbane Broncos.

Roberts will have a two year deal at the Tigers, with both years having options in the club’s favour.

Roberts is not only pleased to be at the Tigers but also to reunite with Michael Maguire, who was his coach at Souths previously.

“I’m very excited to be a part of a quality club which is obviously on the rise,” Roberts said.

“The opportunity to reunite with Michael Maguire is too good to pass up and I’m looking forward to working closely with him again.”

As a proud Aboriginal player, Roberts had glowing praise for the work the Tigers are doing in that field.

“I’m also really impressed with the work Wests Tigers are doing in creating pathways for Aboriginal people and it’s something I’m really passionate about,” Roberts continued.

“I’d like to thank South Sydney for the support they’ve given me and my family over the past two years and I can’t wait to start my new chapter with Wests Tigers.”

Maguire is pleased to see Roberts continue his NRL career and looks forward to working alongside him again.

“James is clearly an exceptional footballer who will add a lot to our side and I’m very pleased to see him continue his rugby league career with Wests Tigers,” Maguire said.

“I’ve worked closely with James before and know that he has a good team around him to help get back to the player that we know he can be.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him back on the rugby league field in 2021 and displaying the talent and commitment that I know will add a lot to our team moving forward.”

James Roberts during his Gold Coast Titans days

Sue joins the Knights on a two-year deal

Newly signed Newcastle Knights prop Sauaso Sue

If you thought we had seen the last of Sauaso Sue in the NRL, you were wrong; as the Samoan forward signs for the Newcastle Knights.

The two-year deal for Sue comes as the Knights look to strengthen their forward rotation after losing several forwards.

With 142 NRL games to his name and previous stints at the Wests Tigers and Canterbury Bulldogs, Sue will look to force his way into the Knights 17.

With a copious number of caps to his name for Samoa, the Knights know that the experience of Sue is invaluable for their side.

“Jesse adds essential elements to our paying roster, including experience and uncompromising toughness, developed over 8 years playing at the top level,” Knights Head of Recruitment Clint Zammit said.

“He is a highly respected player and Samoan leader, recommended to the Knights by several highly-regarded people who fully endorse his work ethic and cultural leadership.

“He also adds another body shape we need to balance out our pack to cater for the modern game.”

Sauaso Sue playing for Samoa

Mata’utia to join brother Peter in England after signing with St Helens

Sione Mata’utia at the Newcastle Knights

It was a tough decision for the Newcastle Knights to make but Sione Mata’utia will head to England after signing with St Helens.

Mata’utia, who has recently struggled with concussions, was given a release from the final year of his contract to take up the deal.

Mata’utia’s career burst out of the blocks and he became the youngest player to don the Kangaroos jersey.

The local South Newcastle junior played in 124 games for the club and received praise from coach Adam O’Brien.

“Sione shares a wonderful history with the Knights, he’s a local junior who made an NRL and Kangaroos debut in the same year, becoming the youngest player to achieve this milestone,” O’Brien said.

“He’s been a great servant for the club, in both good and tough times, while his attitude and commitment both on and off the field have always been outstanding.”

With the chance to sign elsewhere, the Knights were not about to stand in his way.

“We are really pleased to see him get an opportunity to extend his career in England and the chance to travel with his family,” continued O’Brien.

“He is a great young man, who leaves the club with the highest regard.

“Everyone at the Knights wishes him all the best for the future.”

After speaking with his brother, Sione decided that St Helens was the best place for him and the rest was history.

“I am really excited,” Mata’utia said.

“I have been at the Knights since I was a junior so it was hard to leave, but it is an exciting move.

“I have heard nothing but good things about Saints from my brother and if I was moving to England it was definitely to Saints.

“I love the pressure of always trying to be the best and at the top is what excites me.

“People expect Saints to be at the top and I can’t wait to be a part of it.

Mata’utia is no stranger to St Helens Kristian Woolf and knows what to expect of him from 2021 onwards.

“I have known Kristian Woolf for a long time since he coached me at the Knights and I have got along with him really well,” Mata’utia continued.

“He is an honest man and that is what I like about him and his coaching.

“Firm feedback is what takes my footy to the next level and I am looking forward to working with him.”

Woolf praised Sione’s work ethic and ability having coached him previously.

“Sione is a terrific person and I know that because I have coached him,” Woolf said.

“He is a really good trainer and professional in regard to how he goes about his work.

“He is a good player and we see him as a bloke who can come in and play in the forwards for us and give us some real speed around the ruck as he has a good skill set.”

Woolf also expects Mata’utia to impact the side defensively as he looks to fit into their structure.

“He can also play on an edge and offer us some ‘punch’ out there,” Woolf continued.

“He is a real strong defender too and he ticks a lot of boxes for us on and off the field.

“He will work really hard and want to make an impact on the side and he is going to fit into the group really well.”

Sione Mata’utia playing for Australia

Local Knights junior King signs on for 2021

Newcastle Knights prop Josh King

Local junior Josh King has been rewarded for his 2020 form, re-signing with the Newcastle Knights for the 2021 season.

King, who forced his way into the side mid-year and never looked back, was able to break his try-scoring duck in round 17.

King is pleased to have the chance to stay on at the Knights and says that 2020 was a good learning curve for him as a player.

“I am passionate about the region and the Club so I am over the moon to be staying on for another year,” King said.

“2020 was an important year in that I was able to earn my spot the hard way.

“I was really pleased to be able to play seven games and will be pushing hard to play more next season.”

Not one to rest on his laurels, King is determined to dig deep in pre-season and prove his worth in 2021.

“I’ve been working hard since the end of the season and cannot wait to get back into pre-season training,” King continued.

“I know I have a lot to offer and I thank Adam and everyone at the club for backing me to reach my full potential.”

Knights coach Adam O’Brien says King’s new deal is the reward for his resilience and hard work.

“Kingy’s work ethic and commitment to being the best he possibly can be is a testament to the person he is and means that he will get everything he deserves in football and in life,” O’Brien said.

“He is a great clubman with strong ties to his community.

“He’s as genuine as they come and he is deeply committed to doing his bit for the team and doing it to the very best of his ability.”

Former NRL player and St Helens utility Peyroux heads to France

 

St Helens utility Dominique Peyroux

It may have been a while since he has played NRL but Dominique Peyroux’s latest chapter will take him to Toulouse Olympique XIII.

Peyroux, who most recently played for English side St Helens in the Super League, played a big part in their championship success.

2018 was his breakout year in England before taking his game to another level in 2019.

To date, in 120 appearances for St Helens, Peyroux has scored 19 tries.

Prior to his time at St Helens, Peyroux had previously played for both the New Zealand Warriors and the Gold Coast Titans.

Peyroux thanked the club for giving him a chance and would cherish the support of the fans beyond his time at the club.

“I want to thank everyone at the club especially ‘Kez’ [Keiron Cunningham] for giving me the opportunity to re-establish myself as a player in the Super League,” Peyroux said.

“Also to Justin [Holbrook] for all the work he did with me last year.

“My family and I have loved our time in England and I will always cherish the Saints fans who have been great to me.

The Cook Islands international also thanked his teammates and is hopeful to go out with another winners’ medal in 2020.

“Thanks also to my teammates,” Peyroux continued.

“I have made friends for life and I wish them and the club all the best for the future.

“At the moment, my main focus is doing my job for the team and finishing off the season as we did last year – hopefully with another Grand Final winners ring!”

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf who has worked with Peyroux closely wished the utility well moving forward and praised his contributions.

“Dom has been at the Club for five years and has been a really respected and popular member of the squad,” Woolf said.

“He had a great year in 2019 where he was a consistent starter as our starting back-rower as he helped the Club to Grand Final success.

In the end, the chance to play more often was the catalyst behind his move and the club was not about to stand in his way.

“We are well aware that this season, he hasn’t quite had the opportunities he wanted and so we are really happy for him to have that at a great club and area in Toulouse.

“We thank Dom for his service at the Saints and we wish him, Grace, and his family all the best for the future over in France in 2021.”

Dominique Peyroux during his playing days at the New Zealand Warriors

Sharks add veteran prop Tolman to 2021 roster

Newly signed Cronulla Sharks prop Aiden Tolman playing for the Canterbury Bulldogs

With 275 NRL games to his name, Aiden Tolman will don his third NRL jersey, signing with the Cronulla Sharks for 2021.

Tolman began his career with the Melbourne Storm back in 2008 before joining the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2011.

He would go on to play 222 games for the Bulldogs to become one of the club’s most consistent performers over that period of time.

The move works out well for Tolman who is a local resident in the shire area, and he is excited at the new challenge.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” Tolman said.

“The Sharks have come along, offered a contract and I’m over the moon.

“To live local, come to a strong club that has played finals for a number of years, I’m really happy to be here and to be on board.”

He may be a veteran player now but Tolman knows he has to earn his spot and that there are no guarantees.

“Obviously, I want to be in the team, but I’ve got to earn my position,” Tolman continued.

“The Club lost a lot of experience over the past few years and I’m looking forward to adding to that and I can’t wait for the pre-season.”

Sharks coach John Morris knows how invaluable the experience of Tolman will be to the side in 2021.

“I’m excited to have him join us for next season,” Morris said.

“He’s a proven winner given his record at the Storm and Bulldogs, his experience will be invaluable, and his character is of the highest calibre.”

Morris also praised Tolman’s durability and knows how important it is to have forwards that can play long minutes in the middle.

“He’s durable and has the rare ability to play big minutes,”  Morris continued.

Aiden definitely adds much-needed depth to our forwards, especially considering some of the injuries we have and the players we will be missing early in the season.”

Aiden Tolman during his time at the Melbourne Storm

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