Hull drag Kearney out of the Storm

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Hull have made a major acquisition for next season by signing the former New Zealand Test captain, Stephen Kearney.

Kearney, capped 44 times and currently with the Melbourne Storm in Australia, is rated as one of the best ball-handling forwards in the world and was the subject of interest from several other British clubs, including Wigan, St Helens and Bradford.

"Stephen is a world-class player who will provide great experience for our young forwards,'' said John Kear of his first signing since being offered the job as successor to Shaun McRae as head coach.

"He's a great leader and has tremendous durability. He's an obvious winner and will complement our growing team.''

Kearney, who is now 32, will come to Humberside on a one-year contract with a further one-year option. His arrival will help to offset the loss of three of Hull's overseas players next year, with Richie Barnett deciding to retire and Jason Smith and Colin Best joining clubs in Australia.

Kear, meanwhile, who has yet to officially accept the post of head coach, is expected to name the York coach, Richard Agar, as his assistant when he does.

Meanwhile, Hull's regular scrum-half, Richard Horne, is a doubt for Saturday's game at home to St Helens after having a knee injury investigated this week.

Another New Zealand international, Henry Fa'afili is joining Warrington next season on a three-year contract. Warrington also hope that the 10-times capped winger, who does not count on the import quota because he was born in Somoa, will be able to come to them for the remainder of this season.

Bradford's Leon Pryce has had his one-match ban for involvement in a brawl against Wakefield on Sunday overturned on appeal.

The Rugby League is looking into allegations that the Widnes captain, Andy Hay, broke the game's bylaws by operating as a water carrier in the game at Huddersfield on Sunday. Hay was serving a one-match ban and suspended players are not allowed on to the field of play.

Gareth Hock is back in Wigan's squad to play Bradford tomorrow night after recovering from a cooking accident. The back row forward stabbed his hand while attempting to prick the skin on a baked potato.