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2nd February 2018, 13:26 | Hullkr
New Zealand-born centre Vaivai, 28, who played in the NRL for South Sydney Rabbitohs and Penrith Panthers and represented the States in the 2017 World Cup, has signed a one-year deal with a further 12-month option.
Vaivai is a cousin of Hollywood movie star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who he says persuaded him to stick with rugby league after he became disillusioned with the game.
BREAKING: We've signed @USARugbyLeague international centre Junior Vaivai to strengthen our squad for the new @SuperLeague season! He's previously played for @SSFCRABBITOHS and @PenrithPanthers and is the cousin of @TheRock! https://t.co/qa9LAkVNHB #WelcomeToHullKR pic.twitter.com/NmYJwFu8jo— Hull Kingston Rovers (@hullkrofficial) February 2, 2018
His signing is subject to receiving a visa which the club expect to arrive within the next few weeks.
Tickle, 34, has also signed a 12-month deal after leaving Leigh Centurions following their relegation from Super League at the end of the 2017 season.
The goalkicking second rower has racked up over 400 first-team appearances throughout his career with Halifax, Wigan Warriors, Hull FC, Widnes Vikings, Castleford Tigers and Leigh.
Hull KR head of rugby Jamie Peacock said: “Junior is going to be a really strong acquisition for us. He mainly plays centre or wing but he’s got a bit of versatility as well and (United States coach) Brian McDermott said he was very good with the USA.
BREAKING: It's also a double new signing announcement today with confirmation that forward Danny Tickle joins us on a one-year deal to add further depth to the squad for 2018. #WelcomeToHullKR https://t.co/qa9LAkVNHB pic.twitter.com/lj0HW0Bvcd— Hull Kingston Rovers (@hullkrofficial) February 2, 2018
“I spoke to Sam Burgess about him during the World Cup as well and he was also singing his praises. He’s a good player and we’ve done well to add him to our squad.
“As for Danny, all the times I’ve played against him or trained with him as part of an England camp, I’ve thought him to be a very good player. He’s still got a lot to offer Hull KR with his experience, his rugby knowledge and also his goal-kicking, which could all prove to be invaluable.”
Rovers kick off their league campaign against Wakefield Trinity at KCOM Craven Park on Friday night.