Hull KR yesterday confirmed the signing of former Huddersfield prop forward Josh Johnson. Johnson left the Giants at the end of last season to join the Redcliffe Dolphins, a reserve grade club associated with the Brisbane Broncos. Johnson is a former England Academy international and gained valuable experience in Super League last season and made over 30 appearances in total for the giants. Tim Sheens has clearly seen enough in Johnson to bring him back from Australia to join up with the Robins as they are already planning their assault on the middle 8’s.
Johnson feels he gained a lot from his brief time in Australia which will stand him in good stead to hit the ground running at Hull KR. He said “I always fancied going to Australia and I enjoyed it over there, It was a good experience for me, rugby wise and off the field as well. I did a full pre-season out there which was probably the toughest I’ve done with the heat. I played 5 games as well so I’ve got some match fitness behind me”. Johnson will be in contention to make his debut this weekend when the Robins take on Batley Bulldogs. Johnson is clearly keen to get started as he explained “I only landed back in the UK yesterday but I can’t wait to get stuck into training with the boys, I’m really excited”.
With the arrival of Johnson signed sealed and delivered Tim Sheens will now be looking to get another deal done this week. The club are being strongly linked with young Penrith Panthers hooker/half back Zach Dockar-Clay. With a busy schedule of fixtures coming up and the middle 8s on the horizon at the end of the season Sheens is eager to bring in someone who can provide cover for Shaun Lunt who has been getting through a lot of work in the opening weeks of the season.
Dockar-Clay is the 21 year old grandson of former Hull KR hooker Alec Dockar. Despite not making an NRL appearance for Penrith he has featured heavily in reserve grade rugby and captained the Panther’s New South Wales cup team last season as well as the Junior kiwis in 2015. Despite captaining the New Zealand juniors his grandfather’s heritage makes him exempt from the overseas quota making the signing an even more plausible option for Sheens.
Should the deal be agreed and Dockar-Clay’s Visa be granted in time he could be in contention to make his debut against Swinton Lions next weekend.