Irish Verlinden ready to play for Featherstone

Ryan Verlinden has been successful in his application for an Irish passport, which means that he can now legally enter the UK and play for Featherstone Rovers.

The Australian forward will now arrive in the UK next week. Although the bureaucratic process of applying for the passport is still to be properly completed, an emergency passport has been issued which allows the player to travel.

“I’m absolutely rapped that I’m getting closer to actually arriving in the UK,” Verlinden told his club’s official website.

“I was over the moon when I signed initially but the time it’s taken to get everything sorted has proved very frustrating for all concerned.

“Even today things got held up for a couple of hours due to all the traffic with Prince Harry in the city!

“It’s like a large weight has been lifted off my shoulders as I’ve been frustrated by the process as have the supporters and officials at Rovers, it’s a good job I’ve got big shoulders!

“It’s been important to remain positive though and now the time has finally arrived.”

Verlinden has been following Fev’s progress from afar, and now can’t wait to get stuck into the action.

“With the internet and particularly social media I’ve been keeping up with our progress so far and what’s been happening at the club,” he explained.

“It’s my job to work hard and force my way in as the boys already there have been going well recently. I’m an ambitious player and that’s why I’ve made the big decision to the move to the UK.

“I’ve achieved a lot at Newtown Jets but want to push myself, raise my profile and probably the NRL wasn’t going to give me the opportunity to do that at this stage of my career.

“I also want to experience a different culture, apart from visiting Auckland six times to play rugby league, I’ve never been anywhere else so I’m lucky this opportunity has been given to me.

“I’m nervously excited but I should settle in well living with the other Aussie boys and I can’t wait to get started. I know in the North of England that people are really passionate about the sport so it’s a good place to play.

“One thing I’m looking forward to is hopefully going to a live darts tournament, I love watching it on the TV and I think Phil Taylor is immense.

“To be World Champion in your chosen sport 16 times is a fantastic achievement, the atmosphere at tournaments looks amazing so hopefully I will be able to attend in person.”

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