Hull KR have signed forward Kelepi Tanginoa from relegated Super League side Wakefield Trinity on a three-year deal from 2024.
The 29-year-old back-rower arrives in East Hull after spending the last five seasons as a fan favourite at Wakefield, scoring 21 tries in 88 appearances for Trinity.
Tanginoa made 32 appearances in the NRL for Parramatta Eels, North Queensland Cowboys and Manly Sea Eagles before his move to England in 2019.
And he will be a Hull KR player in 2024 after putting pen to paper on a deal that will see him remain at Craven Park until at least the end of 2026.
On signing Tanginoa, Hull KR coach Willie Peters said: “I’m really happy to get Kelepi (Tanginoa) on board. I’ve worked with Kelepi when I was a coach at Manly. He’s always been known as a powerful player.
“Kelepi will bring leg speed and punch to the team. He’s been known as one of the better back-rowers in Super League and he made the league’s Dream Team in 2020.
“Kelepi has joined Hull KR because he sees the vision of where the club is going and he wants to win silverware. He’s hungry for success and those are the players we want at Hull KR.”
Kelepi Tanginoa ‘excited’ about opportunity to join Hull KR
Tanginoa, who was born in Australia of Tongan heritage, takes up Hull KR’s seventh and final quota spot for 2024 following the departure of Kane Linnett, who announced his immediate retirement earlier this week.
Tanginoa joins Sauaso Sue, Tom Opacic, Peta Hiku, Matt Parcell, Tyrone May and Jai Whitbread as Hull KR’s quota players ahead of next season.
On joining the Robins, Tanginoa said: “I was really excited when I found out I had the opportunity to come to Hull KR.
“I’ve known Willie (Peters) since 2017 when we were both at Manly Sea Eagles. So, I know a bit about Willie and what he can bring to a team. When he gave me a call, it was a no-brainer for me.
“I know what Willie can bring out of me as a player and to see what he’s brought to Hull KR and the progress they’ve made in the Challenge Cup and Super League, I’m really grateful to be a part of that next year.
“It will feel pretty comfortable for me entering a new environment knowing a few of the boys. Batch (James Batchelor), Jai (Whitbread) , Yusuf (Aydin) and Corey (Hall) are top quality players, I’m looking forward to playing alongside them again.
“It’s exciting. Every time I play at Hull KR, they’re probably the loudest fans in Super League. I can’t wait to play in front of a home crowd and hear the fans get behind us next year.
“One of the reasons I agreed to come to Hull KR was the progress they’re making. What the club did this year was amazing and the ambition they have for the future is bright. To do that next year and for the years to come, I want to be part of that.
“I’m ready to get to work and earn my spot. I’ll be showing the players, the club and the fans that I’m here to work of the boys and put my best forward.”
Tanginoa, who was named in the 2020 Super League Dream Team, has won representative honours with the Combined Nations All Stars, representing his Tongan heritage in their 26-24 win over England in 2021.