Can these new players help Rams creep up NRRRL ladder?
THREE key signings are set to bolster Marist Brothers ahead of the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League season.
Lock Kyle Kennedy and second-rower Leon King have rejoined the club while Hugh Pratt has committed to play halfback.
Kennedy and King have both played plenty of first grade while Pratt returns to his junior club after playing under-20s at Manly and Queensland Cup with Redcliffe.
The trio join a stack of other new signings which are expected to drag the Rams from a second last spot finish in 2019 to a premiership threat this season.
Brothers have a new coach in former Cronulla Sharks front-rower Danny Lee with club stalwart Mark Sivewright as his assistant.
Sivewright is particularly excited to see Pratt make the transition from hooker to halfback after proving himself at a higher level.
Kennedy is the current NSW Country under-23 lock while King bring plenty of size and ability to the team.
“A couple of guys came back to the club early in the preseason and we’ve been able to keep that momentum going,” Sivewright said.
“Hugh will be really good for us, he has work placement here and it might be the only chance he gets to play with his brothers (Dane and Simon).
“It looked like Kyle was going to go to Newcastle at one point and we’re very lucky to have him back (from Byron Bay).
“Leon looks fit and he’s in a really good place on and off the field.”
Most of the signings are a combination of returning club juniors while others have played for rival NRRRL clubs in recent years.
Fullback Mitchell Krause is back from Byron Bay while second-rower Simon Pratt returns after a season at Casino.
The core group from last season is still intact while most of the young players coming in have been part of the schoolboy rugby league system at St John’s College, Woodlawn.
“It’s a lot of new players to come in at once and the plan is to build around them for the next 10 years,” Sivewright said.
“We don’t want to be here again in 12 months, we want plenty of depth and to have blokes competing for positions.”