Rooney was a star player for Wakefield before his heart stopped suddenly during routine knee surgery. His heart stopped for 30 seconds, and has since left Super League for Championship standard rugby league.
Whitehaven coach Don Gailer said: “I know what he’ll bring to our side regarding performance and ability and his attributes as a player. His communication and direction skills, experience and his superb kicking game are something that Whitehaven are desperate of really. He fills a lot of vacancies that we have in our side.
“He’ll be a really important player for Whitehaven in where we finish this year. He fills a key position in being a half-back which will strengthen that area. I can see a few good combinations going on with our two experienced hookers, and also with Carl Rudd. We have four really good pivots there who will ask questions of sides that we’re playing this year.”