Tim Sheens has highlighted the importance of retaining key trio Adam Quinlan, Mose Masoe and Junior Vaivai at Hull KR.
Standouts in their own rights for the Robins this Super League term, Sheens spoke of his delight at getting the deals over the line to boost KR’s squad in terms of continuity over the coming years.
Speaking at his weekly press conference ahead of Sunday’s game against Salford Red Devils, Sheens spoke in depth about the big retentions.
Q: How pleased were you to get those three deals over the line?
TS: It was big business to tie those three up. People have to understand they have Australian agents, it took some time to finalise the figures.
Quality players always have interest from other people. But the three of them were keen to stay here.
The overseas players take a bit more time. Eventually we have got it done and people are happy as are we that they’re here at the club for the next few years.
Q: Both Mose and Junior’s arrivals could have been seen as ‘punts’ – are you pleased with how they have developed?
I knew their potential. But they’d had injury and issues, both were in their late 20s which is still good age but Mose had a big knee operation, Junior has had a number of them.
In Junior’s case he was already contracted for next year anyway, it was a renegotiation of that deal. In the meantime, they have to play good footy as well so they have that to focus on.
Junior was already on a clause for next year anyway but we wiped that out and gave him an extra year too. It was complicated but we got it done.
Junior had been playing bush football – Champ One over here – but I saw something in him during the America games. We took a punt and touch wood so far things are going OK.
Both him and Mose are having heavy influences, they’re big strong men. Junior is a talent on the edge with his speed and the pass and Mose is our mass player, he was brilliant last week as was Junior. They’ve both added to our team well and truly.
Q: Is there some more business still to be done with out of contract players?
TS: We’re still negotiating to improve the club with outside people, as well as our own people within the group that have not been tied up yet. It’s still early days.
I would get three emails a day offering players to me from overseas or locally. There’s umpteen decisions to make – we haven’t spent our full salary cap by a long way yet. We’re making decisions.
To replace someone here has to be a better player. You only have so much quota spaces and we have one. We have a couple of quota players here already that we haven’t negotiated fully with yet for next year.
Until the break off, with the 8s, then we’ll start to make some decisions. There is time to catch our breath. It’s been a busy week!