Hawke's Bay rugby signs ex-Kangaroo

BY DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 10:09 07/07/2010
Luke Rooney
Getty Images
PANTHER, KANGAROO, MAGPIE: Former Penrith Panthers and Kangaroos league rep Luke Rooney has signed to play provincial rugby in New Zealand with Hawke's Bay.

Relevant offers

Provincial

New Zealand provincial rugby unions record combined annual surplus OBU wing Joe Hill earns Wellington recall after starring in Jubilee Cup final Injury concern for Taranaki Mixed bag as young Lions conceded half century to Canterbury in preseason match Tawera Kerr-Barlow impresses in Waikato hitout ahead of Bledisloe clash Johnny McNicholl grabs hat-trick as Canterbury beat Lions in NPC pre-season match Counties Manukau names its side for first pre-season clash against Taranaki Xavier Rush departs Auckland assistant coach role for "personal reasons" New Zealand Rugby confident NPC won't be overshadowed in World Cup year John Schwalger to make long awaited return to rugby in Lions pre-season match

Hawke's Bay may have missed out on Sonny Bill Williams but the Magpies have secured the services of former Australian rugby league international Luke Rooney for the ITM Cup.

The progressive union put in a solid offer to Wiiliams, the Kiwi league convert hoping to crack the All Blacks. He turned them down in favour of Canterbury.

But the Magpies are excited at picking up Rooney, a former team mate of Williams at Toulon, who is keen to progress his rugby game and sees the New Zealand provincial scene as an ideal chance to do that.

"Over the last two seasons Luke has been playing rugby for Toulon in the French Top 14 Championship, having previously had a highly successful league career which included representing New South Wales in State of Origin and Australia at international level," HBRU chief executive.

Rooney has just signed to play for Australia's new Super 15 franchise, the Melbourne Rebels.

Magpies coach Peter Russell is excited at Mooney's potential.

"Luke has an impressive pedigree in both rugby league and rugby union and will add real star quality to our ITM Cup squad.  His ability to play cover centre, wing or full back will considerably enhance our squad for 2010," said Russell.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

What did you make of this year's ITM Cup?

It was as good a season as I can remember.

It was great to see the smaller provinces perform well.

I caught the odd game here and there.

Sorry, it was an utter snore-fest.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content