The wave of NRL players headed to the Super League has gotten bigger, with Hull Kingston-Rovers today confirming the recruitment of Parramatta Eels centre Tom Opacic on a two-year deal from 2023.

Opacic will join a raft of former NRL players in coach Willie Peters’ side.

The 27-year-old Redcliffe native admitted earlier this year that he’d be open to a return home to join the NRL’s newest franchise, before a chat with Peters ultimately proved decisive.

“I was looking at a few different options in the NRL, then Willie made contact and really sold (the move),” Opacic said.

“He wants to do something special at Hull KR and I took what he said on board.

“I’m really excited to head to the Super League. Hopefully I can finish on a high with the Eels and then make my way over.”

With former NRL veterans Lachlan Coote and Shaun Kenny-Dowall holding positions in the backline, Opacic told club media about the defensive value and experience he can bring to the talented side.

“I’d like to think I’m strong defensively. I’m getting towards being one of the senior players and I’d like to think I’ll bring some experience over. But it’ll definitely be a learning curve for me too.”

Having taken part in some of the most iconic Queensland derbies between the Cowboys and Broncos, Opacic said he was looking forward to the intense local rivalry between Hull KR and Hull FC.

“I’ve heard the fanbase is crazy,” Opacic said.

“I’m looking forward to that. I have a mate who grew up in Hull and he was telling me all about the derby and the rivalry. I can’t wait to get involved.

“It looks like a tough, physical game with some skilful players – but I’m only 27, it’s not like I’m winding down my career. I’m coming over to do a job, I want to win the comp.”

Coach Willie Peters was effusive in his praise of Opacic and what he can bring to the side moving forward.

“Tom had options to stay in the NRL, and I believe we’re getting a quality centre with his best years still ahead of him,” Peters said.

“It’s a big move for Tom and his family, but they’ll have the time of their lives with what we’re trying to do at Hull KR. Along with the fans’ support, the club has a real opportunity to go to the next level in 2023.”

Hull KR are currently ninth on the Super League ladder, tied on points with local rivals Hull FC. Opacic has been in and out of Brad Arthur’s side this year but recently returned to the starting side, scoring a try in the Eels’ win over Manly.

Opacic has played 77 NRL games since making his debut with the Brisbane Broncos in 2016.