Hull KR confirm release of Australian forward from the final year of his contract

Drew Darbyshire
Rhys Kennedy Hull KR Alamy

Rhys Kennedy in action for Hull KR in the Challenge Cup final - Alamy

Hull KR have confirmed they have released Australian prop Rhys Kennedy from the final year of his contract.

The 28-year-old linked up with the Robins on a two-year deal ahead of this season – but the club have now confirmed his release with immediate effect.

Kennedy made 26 appearances for the Robins, including their Challenge Cup final defeat to Leigh Leopards at Wembley in August.

Hull KR coach Willie Peters said: “On behalf of the club, I want to thank Rhys for his contribution to Hull KR this season.

“We wish him all the best for the future along with his partner, Jordynne.”

Kennedy made 49 appearances in the NRL for South Sydney Rabbitohs and Brisbane Broncos between 2019-22.

The New South Wales-born forward, who is of Swiss heritage, made his NRL debut for the Rabbitohs in 2019.

Kennedy played two games for Souths before moving to the Broncos, where he made 47 appearances.

Hull KR fill quota spots with Jai Whitbread signing

The Robins have filled their quota spots with the signing of Australian forward Jai Whitbread from Wakefield Trinity on a three-year deal following the departure of Kennedy.

Whitbread, 25, makes the move to Craven Park after being a standout forward in Super League for the last two seasons with Wakefield, making 39 appearances for Trinity.

Following Wakefield’s relegation to the Championship, Whitbread will make the move to Hull KR immediately on a deal until at least the end of 2026.

On signing Whitbread, Peters said: “Jai was a sought after front-rower in the competition this year.

“There was a number of teams that wanted Jai’s services for 2024. We see him as an important signing for the club.

“Jai plays long minutes for a prop and he’s right up there in terms of the stats in comparison with the best front-rowers in the competition.

“We think he’s going to add a lot to our pack next season. With Jai only being 25 years old, if he continues to work hard there’s no doubt his best years are ahead of him.”

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