Rovers snap up veteran Rooney

Jamie Rooney has returned to Featherstone Rovers.

Jamie Rooney has returned to Featherstone Rovers.

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Half-back Jamie Rooney has rejoined hometown club Featherstone Rovers until the end of the season and the 34-year-old is in the squad for tomorrow’s Kingston Press Championship game at Whitehaven.

Featherstone Lions ARLFC head coach Rooney joins Rovers from Championship One outfit Gateshead.

Rooney, who made his first debut for Rovers in 1998 at Whitehaven as a 19 year old, quickly made the half back position his own and had highly successful time at the club especially under the guidance of former coach Peter Roe.

In his first spell at the club, Rooney amassed 1,243 points, comprising 473 goals and scoring 73 tries.

After a short loan spell at Castleford, Rooney moved to Wakefield Wildcats where he scored more than 900 points and gained international caps for England.

Rooney said: “It’s always been a dream to come back to Featherstone Rovers where my career started.

“I was born in Featherstone and still live in the town so to be given the opportunity to return to the club is something that really excites me. I’ll bring a lot of passion and putting on that shirt again will be an honour. I know people point to my age but it’s just a number and I’m just as enthusiastic for the sport and most importantly Rovers.

“A strong squad has been assembled at Featherstone and I’m hoping I can contribute until the end of the season and see what happens from there. I’m hoping I can help the younger members of the squad too, it should be an exciting end to the season.

“There are some talented players in the squad. I’ve played with Andy Ellis before up at Barrow and he’s always improving.

“The facilities at the club are second to none and the players are really well looked after compared to my first stint at the club. The Centre of Excellence is a top class facility.”

Rovers head coach Andy Hay said: “We would all like to give Jamie a warm welcome back to Featherstone Rovers.

“I’m looking forward to working with Jamie and he will bring plenty of experience to us which is important at the business end of the season.

“He has excellent organisational skills and an exceptional kicking game which I’m sure will prove a valuable asset for the remainder of the season.

“After meeting with Jamie, I was impressed with his enthusiasm and passion for Featherstone Rovers. He’s an ambitious person and wants to be successful and return to the club where his career started. I’m positive that he will grasp this opportunity and do his best for the club he supports.”