Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have secured the signature of hooker Paul Aiton on a two-year deal, subject to a successful visa application.
The Papua New Guinean international becomes the second new signing in as many days at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium for Super League XVII and follows in the footsteps of countrymen Stanley Gene and Makali Aizue in heading to the northern hemispheres elite rugby league competition.
26-year old Aiton has 39 caps for his country and captained the Kumuls during their Four Nations debut in 2010.
His NRL career began at Penrith Panthers with whom he first signed a full-time deal in 2003 ahead of making his debut in 2006, two years after earning his first international honours against Australia.
In 2010 he joined Cronulla Sharks having turned out over 70 times for the Panthers and after 31 appearances in two seasons with the Sydney-based outfit he is set for a fresh challenge with the new-look Wildcats.
“I had certain goals that I wanted to achieve in the NRL and I’ve achieved those,” said Aiton.
“Another goal of mine is to play in the Super League and there were a couple of clubs interested but I met with Richard Agar when he was in Australia and from the way he spoke about the club I wanted to be part of the rebuilding.
“The Super League seems to be a very attacking type of rugby, fast around the ruck and I think that will suit my game. Hopefully I can bring some of my experience to the squad and some creativity as well.”
Aiton has previously been a teammate of fellow new recruits Tim Smith and Dean Collis, the latter of the two playing together at Cronulla.
After a disappointing 2011 for the Sharks, Aiton says he has a drive to be successful with the Wildcats.
“I want to cement a spot in the team and get as much game time as I can,” commented Aiton.
“I’ve got a real hunger to win games. We didn’t have the greatest year at the Sharks last season so I’m coming to the Wildcats to win matches and be successful.”
“Paul is a tough and committed player who plays the game very quick and direct,” said Wildcats Head Coach Agar.
“He’s a proven performer in the NRL and on the international stage with PNG where he has shown tremendous leadership qualities as their captain.
“As well as playing hooker he’ll fill a number of other roles for us too. He’s a very experienced and high quality performer.”
Anticipation continues to build for Super League XVII with Gold, Silver and Bronze memberships all available.
Plus, in the run-up to Christmas junior Gold Memberships are available at just £20 and make a fantastic festive gift for your young Wildcat.
Details of the Membership options can be found HERE.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.