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On The Pitch

Robins swoop for Keating

Canterbury Bulldogs halfback Kris Keating will join the Robins in 2014 having agreed a three-year deal with the club.

A former Australian Schoolboy, the 24-year-old started his career with the Parramatta Eels and made his senior debut for them against Manly back in 2008. Keating went on to make 41 appearances for the Eels before joining the Bulldogs ahead of the 2011 campaign where he linked up with childhood friend, and former junior team-mate, Trent Hodkinson.

He has made over 40 appearances in the blue and white of Canterbury during the past three seasons and was part of the side which lost out to the Melbourne Storm in last year’s NRL Grand Final. Keating also has representative honours to his name having played for City Origin against Country Origin in both 2010 and 2011.

Robins’ CEO Mike Smith struck the deal on a recent trip to Sydney and says that the signing of Keating is a coup for the club.

“I met up with Kris and his father whilst I was over in Sydney,” he said. “It’s always better to speak to people face to face rather than over the phone and it gave me a chance to let them know what Hull KR is all about and vice-versa. Kris is a very good player and a nice bloke who’ll bring a lot to the club, both on and off the field. We’re delighted that we’ve managed to secure his signature and I’m sure our supporters will take to him pretty quickly.”

Keating himself is looking forward to the new chapter in his career and said:

“It’s a new challenge for me and one that I need. I was just plugging away at the Bulldogs when my manager told me that Hull KR were interested and I’ve always had a keen interest in the Super League and know quite a few of the boys who are playing over in England.

“They all have nothing but good things to say about the competition and now feels like the right time to come over and test myself in the Super League. I’ve done a fair bit of research on Hull KR, and the city itself, and am really excited about coming over, as is my fiancée. We just can’t wait to get over there and get started.”

Keating will join up with the Robins in the autumn subject to the necessary visa and work permit paperwork being completed.

Photo: Robins swoop for Keating