Featherstone Rovers have announced the signing of former Toulouse Olympique captain Johnathon Ford.
Ford captained Toulouse to Grand Final glory against Featherstone in October last year and will be reunited with long term friend and teammate Mark Kheirallah: “I can’t describe how happy I am to share the field again with my best mate. We have a connection that’s hard to find, where we barely have to talk on the field, we both just know what the other one is thinking. It really is something special.”
Ford, 6ft 4in, is a Cook Islands international is from Newcastle, NSW, and played his junior rugby for Macquarie Scorpions before signing with the Newcastle Knights. Ford played reserve grade for the Knights in 2008 and 2009 as well as for the Cook Islands in the 2009 Pacific Cup before being picked up by the Sydney Roosters in 2010, making his NRL debut in Round 23 against Cronulla.
Between 2012 and 2021, Ford played for Toulouse Olympique, captaining the side in their Super League promotion winning season last year.
Causing a stir is our favourite pastime 🥣
— Featherstone Rovers (@FevRoversRLFC) April 17, 2022
Speaking of Ford’s signing, Rovers CEO Martin Vickers commented: “I’m delighted to welcome a player of Johno’s talent and experience to the club, we’ve said time and again that we will leave no stone left unturned in trying to achieve our goal and this is another clear demonstration of that policy.
“The team’s performance on Good Friday show’s that we’re getting there in delivering on the field. Now, more than ever we need the backing of the Blue Wall; help us get a bumper crowd for our next home game against Widnes, bring a friend with you, come a little earlier and enjoy a beer, all the while knowing that you are making a valued contribution to the side we’re able to put on the field.”
Ford is energised at the prospect of playing at Featherstone: “I was speaking to Mark Kheirallah – he was rapping the place, loving it, and that gave me the itch and the burn to do something special again. I had a good chat with Martin Vickers and a good chat with Mac (Brian McDermott). I’m really stoked and really grateful to be given this opportunity, it’s been amazing.”
Ford will wear the 29 jersey and is expected in the UK in the next fortnight.