Hull KR have signed Australian prop Jai Whitbread from relegated Super League side Wakefield Trinity on a three-year deal from 2024.
The 25-year-old 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 joining Hull KR, Whitbread said: “I’m very excited to be joining the club. You’ve just got to look at what’s been happening at Hull KR this year, it’s a very exciting time for the club.
“I had a conversation with Willie (Peters) and he explained his vision for Hull KR and the board of directors’ vision for the club.
“It was very attractive for me as a player just to hear what’s being put in place and the improvements all around the club, it was all positive.”
Willie Peters delighted to welcome Jai Whitbread to Hull KR
Hull KR’s signing of Whitbread fills their quota spots, with the Super League club having released Australian prop Rhys Kennedy from the final year of his contract.
Hull KR coach Willie Peters is pleased to have signed Whitbread, who made 30 appearances in the NRL with Gold Coast Titans before his move to England with Leigh in 2021.
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.”