Weller Hauraki hoping to replicate Castleford Tigers form with latest club Hull KR

Weller Hauraki playing for Castleford Tigers in 2014. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)
Weller Hauraki playing for Castleford Tigers in 2014. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

HE IS approaching his 34th birthday but Weller Hauraki still feels ready to replicate his career-best form in Hull KR colours.

The New Zealander is now at his sixth Super League club since first moving to the UK with the Crusaders in 2010.

Weller Hauraki playing for Salford Red Devil earlier this year. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

Weller Hauraki playing for Salford Red Devil earlier this year. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

Hauraki finished off last season with Widnes Vikings after moving there on loan from Salford Red Devils – where he was club captain – in June. He has also played with Leeds Rhinos but it was with Castleford Tigers where he produced arguably his best rugby, reaching Wembley with Daryl Powell’s side in 2014.

“I had a good year here in my first at Crusaders but those two seasons at Cas were the best I played for a while,” said Hauraki.

“The way they played flowing football, throwing it around, was good for me.

“It was difficult last season and frustrating moving mid-season and I didn’t find my feet really with how I was playing.

It was difficult last season and frustrating moving mid-season and I didn’t find my feet really with how I was playing.

Weller Hauraki

“But I’m here at Hull KR for two years now and hope to play some of that footy like when I was at Cas.

“I’m looking forward to it.”

Hauraki worked with Robins coach Tim Sheens during part of his four-year stint at Salford and is delighted to reunite with the Australian.

There is plenty of back-row competition at the East Yorkshire club with former England star Joel Tomkins and James Greenwood plus the likes of Danny Addy, NRL recruit Kane Linnett and Jimmy Keinhorst who can all play there.

But Hauraki admitted: “Tim’s looking at playing me as a middle, a ball-playing number 13 for a 
bit.

“I played quite a bit at Salford there and half of my time at Widnes, too, I was loose.

“But if he needs me out there (second-row) I’ll jump out 
there.

“I’m happy as long as I’m playing somewhere.”

After surviving the Qualifiers in their first year back in Super League, the Robins are aiming higher in 2019.

The experience of Hauraki could be key in achieving that and he insisted: “I reckon we can get top-four or top-six.

“We’ve got the squad here to do that and everyone will do their job and give 100 percent.

“I know that and if that’s the case, any team in this comp can do anything.

“I’m looking forward to it. I’ve not moved over so I’m still travelling from Manchester which is bit of a torture drive.

“But all the boys are a good bunch which has made it a lot easier to come and get stuck in and now I can’t wait for Super League to start up again.”