Rugby League: Joe Taira extends Hornets stay for 2018

Date published: 22 November 2017

Joe Taira will remain with Rochdale Hornets for the 2018 season - his third year with the club.

Starting out as a centre, he joined Hornets from local amateur side Rochdale Mayfield in 2016, scoring a hat-trick on his debut against Coventry Bears.

His hard-hitting defence and barnstorming hit-ups saw coach Alan Kilshaw move the Fijian into the front row, and he was an integral part in the promotion winning campaign that year, featuring 16 times.

In 2017 he made 26 appearances, scoring four times including an explosive double against Bradford Bulls, the second of which was voted the try of the season by fans at the end of season awards night.

He also picked up the coach’s player of the year award on that night, and Kilshaw is looking forward to working with Taira for at least another season.

He said: “I am delighted that we were able to secure Joe for a third season.

“His performances haven’t gone unnoticed by a number of Championship and Super League clubs, and I am confident that if Joe continues to develop and perform consistently he could play at the highest level.

“Joe is a popular member of the squad and I am looking forward to coaching him for a further season.”

Kilshaw was quick to underline the importance of Taira to his squad, and praised his improved discipline over the course of his first two seasons at the Crown Oil Arena.

He added: “Joe is a huge player for us.

“He is very popular among our supporters and in the wider Rochdale community having come through the amateur game with spells at Rochdale Cobras and Rochdale Mayfield.

“He ramps us up, hits hard and runs hard but he is also a very skilful player. We want to develop this side of his game more next season as he has a lot of football in him.

“His disciplinary record has improved considerably and we are expecting this to continue next season.

“I would like to thank Steve Kerr, Mark Wynn and the board for their assistance in helping get this signing across the line.”

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