Featherstone Rovers swoop to sign award-winning NRL starlet forward: ‘I’m relishing the challenge’

Ben Olawumi
James Ford Featherstone Rovers Alamy

Featherstone Rovers head coach James Ford - Alamy

Featherstone Rovers have completed the signing of prop Jayden Tanner from NRL outfit Canterbury Bulldogs on a one-year deal ahead of the upcoming 2024 Championship season.

A former Australian schoolboy, Tanner made three NRL appearances for the Bulldogs in the 2023 season, handed a debut in Round 1 against Manly Sea Eagles.

Born in Sydney, Tanner was previously on a development contract with Penrith Panthers, but wasn’t handed an NRL-level deal with the reigning Aussie kings.

In-between his appearances at senior level last term, the 23-year-old shone for the Bulldogs‘ New South Wales Cup side, and come the end of the campaign won the club’s Player of the Year award for his performances in that competition.

Now, he makes the move over to England, and isn’t planning on it being a short stay.

Featherstone Rovers swoop to sign award-winning NRL starlet forward Jayden Tanner: ‘I’m relishing the challenge’

Speaking to the Rovers’ club website, the Hills District Bulls junior said: “I’m really looking forward to this opportunity that Featherstone have presented me with.

“I’ll be arriving next week and going straight into training which I’m particularly looking forward to and keen to meet my teammates.

“The change of scenery, lifestyle and a move to the UK really excites me. Some day down the track, hopefully, I can maybe make a career out of playing in England.”

Featherstone won their first competitive game of the year when they beat League 1 outfit Hunslet in the group stages of the 1895 Cup.

James Ford’s side however lost their second and final group game in that same competition to Batley Bulldogs last weekend, and now are unlikely to progress into the knockout stages.

They take on community club Thatto Heath Crusaders in the Third Round of the Challenge Cup this weekend, with a tie away against Hunslet or Keighley Cougars up for grabs in Round 4.

On Tanner’s arrival at Post Office Road, boss Ford added: “Jayden is quality player and at 23, has the best years ahead of him.

“He is a very competitive front-rower and carries the ball really strong. He also has some ball-playing skills which will suit the style that we’re trying to employ, and I’m impressed by how aggressive and competitive he is in defence.

“Jayden is a player who will compliment how we play the game and I’m really looking forward to getting him here and working with him.”

READ NEXT: Ex-Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Tigers & Hull FC youngster ‘over the moon’ to sign for hometown Championship club