Lachlan Coote to join Hull KR after turning down new St Helens deal
Hull KR have announced the signing of St Helens full-back Lachlan Coote on a two-year deal from 2022.
The capture of the 31-year-old Australian, who has played a pivotal role in Saints’ back-to-back Grand Final triumphs, is a major statement of intent.
Rovers, who last last year finished with the wooden spoon, also made a play for centre Toby King before he re-signed with Warrington.
Coote, who has been a prolific points-scorer since joining St Helens from North Queensland Cowboys ahead of the 2019 season, is out of contract with the champions this year and turned down the offer of a new deal after being impressed by the vision and approach to player management of Hull KR coach Tony Smith.
“That was the main reason to sign for the club really,” said Coote, a Scotland international who was short-listed for Man of Steel in 2020 and played for Great Britain in 2019.
“I was having some great chats with Tony on what Hull KR are all about and what they have in place really appealed to me.
“I’m really big on having that player-coach relationship. Tony was big on it as well, making sure that we could work with each other. I’m really excited for the challenge too, a new start and a move to the other side of the country.
“To move on to Hull KR is exciting. I think the club itself is heading in the right direction. I’m really excited to get across there and see what the city and the fans are all about.
"I want to thank everyone at St Helens for everything they have done for me and my family – that includes Eamonn McManus, Mike Rush, Justin Holbrook, Kristian Woolf and all my teammates.
“I also must thank the St Helens fans. When I first heard my name sung in the stands it was such a surreal but unbelievable moment and your support throughout has made my time here so special.
“The past two and a half years have been some of the best of my career. To win back-to-back Super League titles is something I never dreamt of when coming over to the UK and I’ve loved every minute.
“Having said that I now feel the end of the season is the right time for me to move on for a new challenge and I know the club has a great future ahead with so many talented youngsters in this St Helens squad.
“We still have so much to play for this season and my full focus is ensuring I finish my time at this great club with more success. A Challenge Cup win and a third Grand Final success would be the dream.”
Coote is expected to be a straight replacement for fellow Australian and former St Helens full-back Adam Quinlan, who is out of contract at the end of the season.
Smith said of Coote: “He’s a good lad. He has plenty of experience and he is ready for a change and I think we’ll be a good fit for him.
“As we have seen with form since he arrived in the UK, he’s proven to be one of the most consistent performers in Super League.
“He is still a top-class Super League player and he brings a professional mentality. Winners have a good professional attitude to their job.
“He’s been really keen to join us and add to what has already been a very successful career.
“We’ve changed the calibre of targets that we have been after and we have been fortunate to get someone of Lachlan’s quality to join a group of people that are working really hard at the moment to be more and more successful.”