Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have made one of the clubs biggest signings in years with the capture of former New South Wales prop Justin Poore.
The 27-year old has agreed a two-year deal to join the Wildcats after 178 games in the NRL having made his debut with St. George Illawarra Dragons in 2004 before his most recent three-year spell with Parramatta Eels.
Poore appeared in all three games of the 2009 Origin series for the blues and will become only the twelfth Origin player to wear the red, white and blue of Wakefield Trinity, the most recent being Julian O’Neill in 2005.
A former Australian Schoolboy international where he played alongside Wildcats scrum-half Tim Smith, there was interest from an NRL club but Poore opted to start a new chapter of his career in England, the birthplace of his father.
“I’ve had almost ten years in the NRL and I wanted a different challenge,” commented Poore, who stands at 6ft 2in tall and weighs in at 17 stone.
“I’ve always wanted to experience playing in England and Wakefield really appealed to me because it is a very family orientated club. I probably didn’t think I’d be coming over at this stage in my career but when the opportunity came around I jumped at it because it’s a short career and you never know when it might come around again.
“The NRL is very controlled and there’s a lot of emphasis on defensive structures but the Super League does seem a lot more open and that was tempting to come and be a part of. It’s a big plus for me and hopefully I can use some of my skills that I’ve not been able to for a few years.
“But I’d probably say the decisive factor for me was Richard Agar. Some coaches can be very ruthless with how they speak to players but the way he spoke to me he convinced me to come to Wakefield.”
After the Wildcats made the play-offs in 2012 following a fine end of season run, Poore is eager to be part of the club as they prepare to tackle a new Super League campaign and having experienced an Origin crowd is looking forward to what the British crowds have to offer.
“The team got into the play-offs last year and hopefully we can aim for that again. I think it’s different being at a club that aren’t expected to win things like a Leeds or Wigan, and it can enhance the camaraderie within the group.
“I’m looking forward to being part of a team that really appreciate what each other does for the team and put their bodies on the line for it.
“I spoke to Brad Mackay and he said the crowds over there are great, there’s lots of chanting and they’re loud. He said they’ll let you know if they don’t like you so hopefully I can show the Wakefield fans what I can do and they’ll like me!”
Poore becomes the third close season signing for the Wildcats following on from the permanent deal to keep Paul Sykes at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium and the addition of Reece Lyne from Hull FC.
Wildcats Chief Executive James Elston said the signing is a significant one for the club since the takeover of Andrew Glover in 2011.
“This is a major signing for the club and shows our fans that we are in the market for some top quality players,” said Elston.
“Justin is still only 27 and there was an NRL club after his services but he has chosen to come to Wakefield and I think that’s an acknowledgement for the work that has been done, particularly by Richard Agar in creating an environment where players want to come and play for Wakefield.
“We have made no secret that we have been after a big man to lead the pack and Justin certainly is that. It’s a signing that will get supporters excited and whet the appetite even further for 2013.”
Make sure you’re part of 2013 by buying your Gold Membership at the early bird prices before the October 31st deadline.
Prices start from £125 adults, £25 juniors, £50 for young adults aged 16-21 and £85 for concessions.
Buy yours by visiting the Ridings Centre Store, the Rapid Solicitors Stadium Box Office, online or by calling 01924 201548/211611.
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