Australian recruit and former State of Origin prop Justin Poore has touched down in Wakefield and has already completed his first full training session, within 24 hours of arriving in the country.
The Wildcats marquee signing joined from Parammatta Eels in October and enters the Rapid Solicitors with a wealth of NRL experience behind him. The 27-year-old represented New South Wales in all three Origin fixtures in 2009 as well as being a former Australian schoolboy and almost 10 years in the Australian top flight.
The barnstorming prop made his debut for St. George Illawarra Dragons in 2004 and went on to make 178 appearances in the NRL and even turned down offers to remain in his home country before deciding to play for Richard Agar’s men.
“I had a tough time in deciding what I was going to do but I had the opportunity to come here and I honestly jumped at it, my dad is from over here so that helped,” said Poore.
“I was in a team that couldn’t win games and I know what it feels like to come last and I know what it feels like to come first and I know which one I’d prefer to be so I’m very excited to be here. The weather had a lot to do with my decision, I wanted to come here to be cold,” said the forward who was clearly in a light hearted mood.
“I came here 10 years ago for a schoolboys tour but I don’t remember it being that cold but I suppose when you’re 17 years old you don’t care about that kind of stuff. I knew it was going to be cold, you’d be kidding yourself if you come over here thinking it’s going to be warm but that’s the least of my problems.
“I came over here because I wanted to play for the club, I wanted a different experience and I wanted more responsibility in what I can do and I feel I can help improve the team and hopefully rub some good traits off on the boys.”
The 17 stone front-rower admits head coach Agar was the main reason he wanted to challenge himself in the Super League.
“He was the reason I came over here, maybe it’s not the best thing on my first day to embarrass the coach but I liked his enthusiasm about the way he spoke about his players and the way he dealt with players. I think we miss a bit of that back home and sport is a ruthless career so to have a coach that puts in his head out for the boys is something we all appreciate that.
“You build team spirit from winning games, if you don’t win games then there’s no team spirit there so you have to put yourself in position to win games, if we do the hard work then we’ll win a lot more.”
Poore admits he didn’t know much about the club before putting pen to paper on his two year contract but has since been researching the current squad and says the best years are still ahead of him.
“I have got some personal things I want to achieve, I achieved all the stuff I wanted to do at home and now I have some personal goals I want to achieve over here so I’m looking forward to it.
“In Australia I got asked why did I left so early but I needed a change, a change is as good as a holiday and I feel I had the best year of my career last year and we ran last. I played better last year then when I did when I was playing State of Origin in 2009. I feel like I can get better, offer the team a lot and I’m looking forward to ripping in with the training and get prepared for the first game.”
After assessing his first day of training as a success he went on to explain how he will fit in with the current squad.
“It really depends on how they take my sense of humour, as an Australian we’ve got a very dry sense of humour so I had to repeat a couple of jokes they didn’t hear properly because the first joke I cracked they looked at me weird, I’m sure I’ll be alright.
“I played in some very good teams with some arrogant people and I’ve played in some very bad teams with some great people and I think this team could be great team as well as us having a great bunch of blokes. Everybody came up to me today and said how you going and I really appreciate that because it’s really nice and it shows a lot of the blokes personalities to step out of their comfort zone and say hello to a new person.”
You can watch Poore’s first interview HERE on Wildcats TV.
If you haven’t purchased your Gold Membership then there is still time to buy before Christmas at a reduced price to back Justin Poore and the boys in 2013. Adults prices start from £175, concessions £115, 16-21 year olds £85 and juniors just £35.
Purchase yours today clicking HERE, visiting either the Ridings Centre Store or Rapid Solicitors Stadium Box Office or by calling 01924 211611 / 201548.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.