The Sydney Roosters have signed Canberra Raiders utility Matt McIlwrick on a one-year deal after the Canberra Raiders granted the 23-year-old a release from his contract.
First-choice hooker Jake Friend is set to miss the opening rounds of the 2015 season as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery, and the club has lost both Daniel Mortimer (Titans, mid-season) and Heath L’Estrasnge (Dragons).
Sydney Roosters recruitment manager, Peter O’Sullivan, the club’s website that McIlwrick would be a valuable asset to the club heading into 2015.
“We are pleased to have secured the services of Matt, who we view as the ideal back-up hooker to Jake Friend.
“With explosive speed around the ruck and high work-rate in defence, as well as his ability to slot into lock, Matt and will add some great depth to our interchange and we look forward to his developing as part of our squad,” he added.
Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, McIlwrick made his National Youth Competition debut for the Raiders in 2008 and played 64 games for the club at that level between 2008-2011 and represented the Junior Kiwis in 2010. He then graduated to the club’s NSW Cup team, Mt Pritchard Mounties in 2012 and made his NRL debut in round 8 of that year and played 19 games between 2012-2014.