Dons bolster squad with addition of NRL star Matthew Groat

Matthew Groat
Matthew Groat

Carl Hall hopes the long and winding road that brought new signing Matthew Groat to the club will help provide Doncaster with a route off the bottom of the Championship.

Australian prop forward Groat was due to sign for Super League side Salford Red Devils over the winter but the deal collapsed after visa delays.

The 23-year-old represented West Tigers 17 times in the NRL before joining St George Illawarra in 2013 - and represents something of a coup for a club still searching for their first win this season.

Dons chief executive Carl Hall said: “It’s a bit different to what he thought he was coming over to the UK for.

“He signed at the start of the year for Salford and I’m not too sure he knows what went on there.

“But he’s got his visa now and we’re very fortunate that Gary Hetherington [Leeds Rhinos chief executive] spoke to me the other week and brought him to our attention.

“It moved on pretty quickly from there.

“It’s great to have Matthew at the club,” he added. “It’s certainly an area we all know we needed to strengthen.

“He’s 23-year-old and he’s here to try and impress and get to Super League, which is everyone’s goal.

“He’s played in the NRL and for Australia schoolboys in 2010 so we’re pretty excited to have this calibre of player coming to us, especially when things are a little tough. I’m sure he can add to us.”

Groat said: “It’s unfortunate that things fell through with Salford, but I’m really happy to be here at Doncaster.

“The Dons have given me an amazing opportunity and I am really grateful for it.”