Former Hull KR youngster makes League 1 move after Australia stint: ‘A fresh start’

Ben Olawumi
Craven Park, Hull KR

Craven Park, the home of Hull KR - Alamy

Midlands Hurricanes have confirmed the signing of former Hull KR young gun Max Kirkbright for the 2024 League 1 season following his short stint Down Under.

The outside-back makes the move back to England and into the third tier having spent 2024 in Australia with the Sunshine Coast Falcons, who ply their trade in the Queensland Cup.

With the Falcons, Kirkbright ended the year 8th in the 15-team competition, sneaking into the end-of-season play-offs having pipped the Tweed Heads Seagulls by a single point.

He and his colleagues then got the better of the Redcliffe Dolphins in week one of those play-offs, before bowing out to the Central Queensland Capras at the beginning of September in the semi-finals.

The youngster now pens a one-year deal with the Hurricanes, who play their home games at the 18,000-capacity Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, renovated for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the city.

Former Hull KR youngster Max Kirkbright makes League 1 move for 2024 with Midlands Hurricanes following Australian adventure

Kirkbright didn’t register a competitive senior appearance for KR before departing, but captained their academy side and featured in pre-season ahead of the 2022 campaign, handed squad number 33.

He won’t however be making his League 1 debut with the Hurricanes having featured three times as a loanee for Swinton Lions last year between July and August, all of which on the wing, scoring in a narrow defeat to eventual invincible champions Keighley Cougars. Swinton went on to get promoted via the play-offs.

The Castleford-born ace’s move back home and to the Hurricanes was confirmed in a press release on the club’s website, with head coach Mark Dunning a long-time admirer.

Ex-Bradford Bulls boss Dunning told the club website: “We’re very happy to welcome Max to the Hurricanes. Max is someone who I have been aware of for a number of years from his performances for Hull Kingston Rovers.

“Following his spell playing out in Australia, I was delighted that his agent made contact to inform us of his availability. Max is a strong, quick skilful outside-back who has very good balance and I’m sure will excite our outstanding fans.”

Kirkbright meanwhile is relishing the opportunity he’s been handed, and added: “It feels good to be back playing with a fresh start and a tight knit group of boys.

“I’m thankful for Mark giving me this chance and I’m excited to dig into a competitive competition this year.”

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