Tilse confident he can handle Hull KR challenge

Hull KR have added front row reinforcements to their squad by signing prop forward Dane Tilse from Canberra Raiders.

The 6’7″ forward has inked a two-and-a-half-year deal at Rovers, subject to receiving the necessary paperwork.

Tilse, who has 200 career games in the NRL to his credit, is looking forward to playing in Super League.

“It’s a new challenge for me to come over there and it’s one I’m really looking forward to. Everybody I’ve spoken to has had good things to say about Rovers and it sounds like a club on the way up,” he told the Robins’ official website.

“I’ve had a brief chat to Josh Hodgson and he spoke very highly of the club, as did Mick Weyman’s dad. I played with Mick at Canberra and his old man said how much he’d enjoyed it over there.

“It’s a different style of game in Super League, it’s not so much about the wrestle and defence like the NRL, so I’m looking forward to a fresh start.

“I’ve been at Canberra for 10 years now and it’s time for me to be taken out of my comfort zone, but I’m 30-years-old, I’m an experienced player and I’m more than confident I can handle the change.

“I was already thinking of coming over to Super League next season, but this was too good an opportunity to turn down. Canberra have been really good with me, so hopefully I can play a couple more games here over the next few weeks and then get across to Hull KR.”

Tilse played every game for the Raiders in 2013 and 2014, and Rovers coach Chris Chester is pleased to have signed such a quality replacement for the recently retired Michael Weyman.

“It’s no secret that we’ve been short on numbers in the front row after the departures of Mick and Ryan Bailey and we wanted to strengthen in that area,” he said.

“Our forwards have coped very well in the circumstances but we’ve been scouring the market for props and we’re delighted to be bringing in someone of Dane’s calibre.

“He’s got a very good pedigree over in the NRL and he’s coming here in what should be the prime of his career for a front rower.

“We’re excited to see him take to the field for us and he’ll be a big part of the squad moving forwards. We’ve got to go through the necessary process regarding his visa, but we’re hopeful of having him on board in the next three to four weeks.”

Rovers CEO Mike Smith, meanwhile, was pleased to have worked with Canberra again.

“I’d like to thank both Don Furner and Ricky Stuart at Canberra for the way they have worked with us in recent weeks to get this deal over the line,” he said.

“This is the third time we have worked closely with the Raiders in recent months following the departure of Josh Hodgson and the arrival of our captain Terry Campese, and they’ve been fantastic to deal with throughout.

“They have kindly allowed Dane to leave part way through the season to take up this opportunity with us and I’d like to thank them for their understanding and support.”