Hull KR have signed Craig Hall and Ben Crooks on loan from Leigh

Craig Hall
Craig Hall

Hull KR have beaten Friday's transfer deadline to sign centre duo Craig Hall and Ben Crooks on loan from Leigh.

Hall, who had a four-year spell with the Robins from 2011-14 and captained Toronto to the League 1 title in 2017, and former Hull FC player Crooks, are joining the Betfred Super League club for the rest of the season following the break-up of the Leigh team.

Both players have been registered in time to go straight into coach Tim Sheens' 19-man squad for Friday's derby at Hull FC, along with fellow new recruit Todd Carney.

As part of the deal, Robins have allowed Will Dagger, Josh Johnson and Jordan Walne to join Leigh for the rest of the season to free up space on their salary cap.

Sheens said: "We are improving the look, size and speed within the side and doing the best we can to make sure that we've got depth right the way through the squad.

"I'm hoping that we'll look a lot stronger out wide and we'll find those combinations maybe starting at the derby tomorrow and then continuing through the Qualifiers."

It is thought Hull KR also made a move for Wakefield's out-of-contract winger Mason Caton-Brown but he is expected to join Toronto.

Leigh have now lost six senior players since owner Derek Beaumont announced the club were cutting costs and coach Kieron Purtill is grateful for the re-inforcements.

The Centurions could still claim a place in the Qualifiers but need to beat Sheffield and hope that London Broncos lose at Barrow in the final round of Championship matches on Sunday.

Purtill said: "I'd like to thank Hull Kingston Rovers for their help in making these players available.

"We are looking forward to the Sheffield game and there is still a chance other results could go our way.

"We will approach the game with the right mindset and will be playing against a much-improved side from the one we played at Sheffield earlier in the year.

"We are looking forward to finishing this block of games off in a positive way and reward our loyal supporters with a good performance to finish the regular Betfred Championship campaign."

Meanwhile, Bradford have signed Castleford wingers Jy Hitchcox and Tuoyo Egodo until the end of the season.

Hitchcox, 28, who had a spell on loan with the League 1 leaders earlier in the year, will link up with the Bulls once he recovers from a back injury.

The former Featherstone player is out of contract with the Tigers this year and will get the chance to put himself in the shop window.

Egodo, 21, is also moving on loan but remains contracted to the Tigers for 2019.

Castleford director of rugby Jon Wells said: "Daryl confirmed earlier this year that Jy Hitchcox wouldn't be part of his 2019 plans and this loan move will now allow Jy to get some consistent games under his best at the end of the season in his quest to earn a contract elsewhere.

"We wish him all the best for the next chapter in his career and thank him for his time at Castleford Tigers.

"Spending the rest of 2018 on loan at Bradford will give Tuoyo the chance to get some consistent game time at a great club.

"During this time he'll still be training in our full-time environment and he'll continue to grow as a player within our set-up, where we hope to see him flourish at Castleford Tigers in 2019."

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