WAKEFIELD TRINITY WILDCATS prop Nick Scruton has ended his three-year association with the club by signing for relegated Hull Kingston Rovers.
The ex-Leeds Rhinos front-row, who joined from Bradford Bulls in 2014, had actually penned a deal with Rovers for 2017 earlier in the season before they lost to Salford Red Devils in the Million Pound Game.
He could have reneged on that, though, following KR’s unexpected demotion and, being such an experienced and high-class player, would surely have had other suitors in Super League.
However, Leeds-born Scruton has agreed to stand by his original decision and join Rovers in the Championship with the view of helping them win an immediate return to the top-flight.
“Everybody’s objective and goal at the club has changed now since I first signed,” he said. “But there’s still a job to do and I’m keen to help out now and get us back to where we belong.
“I’ve been reading about all the season ticket sales and things like that so the Hull KR fans seem like a great bunch and I just want to get out there and impress them all.
“I’ll be one of the more experienced campaigners in the squad so I’ll be looking to bring a bit of that experience and add some impact.
“It’s always been my role to get the team going forward and that won’t change.
“It’s a tough league now is the Championship so hopefully I can add some physicality to the pack and help out where I can.”
Scruton, 31, is a product of Rhinos’ academy and won the 2008 Grand Final with them having also lifted the World Club Challenge that year.
He switched to Bradford Bulls in 2009, however, after being unable to gain guarantees about regular first-team action at Headingley.
Scruton played more than 100 games for the Odsal club before joining Wakefield when Bradford went into administration for a second time inside two years in February 2014.
He scored 11 tries in 77 appearances for Trinity, captaining them at times and helping them reach the top-eight and Challenge Cup semi-finals this season.
Scruton becomes Hull KR’s first signing since suffering relegation and will replace James Green who has joined promoted Leigh Centurions.
He will work under incoming coach Tim Sheens, the ex-Australia boss, and also link up once more with Jamie Peacock, his former front-row colleague at Headingley and now Hull KR’s head of rugby.
With ex-Leeds hooker Shaun Lunt agreeing to stay as well as player of the year Maurice Blair and top try-scorer Thomas Minns, the former Rhinos centre, things are looking up for the East Yorkshire club.
Peacock said: “Nick is another example of a player who has shown his loyalty to the club. He had the opportunity to look for another deal in Super League but he’s made a commitment to us.
“We need tough, uncompromising players as part of the squad for next and he is certainly that. He’s got a great work ethic both on and off the pitch and he’ll set a real example for some of the younger forwards we have.”