Hull KR have signed veteran New Zealand Test prop Tony Puletua on loan from Salford Red Devils to the end of the season.
The 35-year-old former Penrith and St Helens forward played in all but two of the Red Devils’ 29 matches in his first year at the A J Bell Stadium in 2014 but has not appeared at all this season after apparently being in dispute with the club.
Puletua is expected to make his Rovers debut in Saturday’s derby against Hull FC at the Magic Weekend in Newcastle and will be eligible for next month’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final against Catalans Dragons.
Hull KR coach Chris Chester moved to bolster his pack after losing props Dane Tilse, Adam Walker and Mitch Allgood to injury and last week secured the loan services of Wigan Warriors prop James Greenwood.
“Tony is a quality player who has played at the highest level for a number of years,” Chester said. “He won the NRL with Penrith and he has plenty of big game experience, which will be a real asset for our younger blokes.
“We are down to a couple of fit front rowers at the moment so to bring in a prop of Tony’s calibre is a fantastic addition to our squad and our thanks go out to the Salford club for their cooperation.
“He’s a thorough professional on and off the field and he’s arrived in good shape so I’ve got no worries about throwing him straight into the derby this weekend.”
Puletua said: “I’ve not been playing for Salford and I’ve always seen this year as my last season before I retire and I want to go out with a bang. I really want to do well for the club before I finish up.”