Hull KR pull off major coup with signing of New Zealand powerhouse Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

Drew Darbyshire
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves Hull KR Alamy

Hull KR have signed Kiwi veteran Jared Waerea-Hargreaves from 2025

Hull KR have confirmed the signing of New Zealand test powerhouse Jared Waerea-Hargreaves on a one-year deal for the 2025 Super League season.

The 35-year-old prop, who is a three-time NRL champion, will play out his 16th season in the NRL in 2024 with Sydney Roosters before linking up with Willie Peters’ side ahead of next season.

Waerea-Hargreaves currently has 298 NRL appearances to his name, having made his first team debut for Manly Sea Eagles back in 2009. He has been with the Roosters since 2010, where he was won three Premierships.

The hulking front-rower has won 33 caps for New Zealand on the international stage, representing the Kiwis in the last three World Cups.

On his move to Hull KR, Waerea-Hargreaves said: “It’s exciting. I’ve had a good couple of chats with Willie. He’s a great man and I’m really looking forward to playing for Hull KR and him in 2025.

“The team has been building for a number of years. They were successful last year but fell short in the (Challenge) Cup Final. We’ve got a really strong squad this season and from the win over Hull you can see their training really hard.

“For myself, my wife and the kids, we’re looking forward to coming over as a family, knuckling down and enjoying the north of England. I’ve played a number of years in the UK with New Zealand, coming away internationally. I’ve loved England, I love how passionate the people are.

“I love the working class city of Hull, it’s been on my radar for a couple of years. Now it’s official, it’s very exciting.”

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The key role Shaun Kenny-Dowall played in the transfer

Shaun Kenny-Dowall Hull KR AlamyShaun Kenny-Dowall Hull KR Alamy
Hull KR development coach Shaun Kenny-Dowall

Waerea-Hargreaves played alongside former Hull KR captain Shaun Kenny-Dowall, who is now on the backroom staff at Sewell Group Craven Park, for Sydney Roosters, winning the NRL Grand Final together in 2013.

And the Kiwi prop has revealed that Kenny-Dowall planted the seed about possibly joining Rovers when they watched the Rugby Union World Cup final together in Paris last year.

Waerea-Hargreaves said: “My best mate is Shaun Kenny-Dowall, I played nearly 10 seasons with Skids. When he went over to Hull, we stayed in contact and he’s spoken highly of Hull KR and the people in the club.

“It’s being a part of what I wanted to do. Now that this opportunity is here, it’s very exciting. Once we started talking about it happening, it moved quickly.

“We started talking about it in November last year, we met up in Paris for the Rugby Union World Cup Final and he asked what I was up to and said the opportunity was there (at Hull KR) and here we are now. I rang Willie and I rang Skids and said let’s make it happen.”

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Hull KR boss Willie Peters on signing Kiwi powerhouse Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

On bringing Waerea-Hargreaves to the club, Robins coach Willie Peters said: “The initial conversations started from Jared’s strong relationship with Shaun Kenny-Dowall. Shaun and I had conversations in the off-season on how we’d love to get Jared to the club.

“I have the upmost respect for Jared. He’s arguably one of the best front-rowers to player the game in the NRL. Jared’s biggest strength is he’s a leader of men.

“There’s not many front-rowers that can change games or swing momentum like Jared can. Jared has single-handedly done this over the years.

“Jared is a player everyone wants to play with and the contribution he’ll make off the field is priceless. He’s going to help our younger players come through and help our senior players become better leaders. He’s going to bring so much to us on and off the field. He’s a proven winner in the NRL and we can’t wait for him to join up with the club.”

Waerea-Hargreaves added: “This will be my 16th season in the NRL, and I’ve got a fair bit of experience. I’ve played in the big games and I want to be able to support these guys in areas they need and be hands on to do whatever it takes to bring as much positivity to the group as possible.

“I’m a really passionate player. It’s something that’s been instilled in me from a young age. My parents taught me to work hard and fight for everything.

“It’s a fresh change and a new start for me. Meeting new faces with different teammates I think it’s a really opportunity to come to the club and earn the respect of the players, staff and the people. I’m there to do good and be successful. That’s only a few months away, I’m looking forward to getting over to Hull in November.”

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