SAMOA WORLD Cup star Pita Godinet has become Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ latest recruit in readiness for their 2014 Super League campaign.
Wildcats have confirmed the signing of Godinet, who will turn 26 tomorrow, from New Zealand Warriors on a two-year deal.
He becomes the club’s sixth pre-season signing.
Already in place were ex-Leeds prop Richard Moore and hooker Paul McShane, front-rower Daniel Smith from South Sydney, and Australian prop Scott Anderson (Brisbane Broncos) and second-rower Matt Ryan (Parramatta Eels).
Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Godinet can play hooker, but is likely to be used by Wakefield Wildcats as a replacement for departed scrum-half Tim Smith, who has joined Salford Red Devils for the 2014 season.
Godinet made a try-scoring debut for Warriors in 2011 and has 17 NRL appearances under his belt.
He played in all four of Samoa’s matches in the recent World Cup, scoring tries in two of them.
The Samoan international was played at hooker in the loss to New Zealand and the win over Papua New Guinea, at stand-off in the victory over France – who are coached by Wildcats boss Richard Agar – and as a substitute for the quarter-final defeat by Fiji.
Wakefield confirmed his signing last night after a snag delaying the deal was overcome.
The issue was resolved late in the day and Wildcats were delighted to confirm the signing.
Wildcats are also interested in Australia-based play-maker Harry Siejka.
The 21-year-old, who can play stand-off or scrum-half, represented Australian Schoolboys before joining Penrith Panthers, where he made four NRL appearances.
He joined New Zealand Warriors last pre-season on a two-year deal, but failed to break into the first team and moved to St George Illawarra midway through the campaign, claiming he wanted to return to Sydney.
Wildcats are waiting to hear if Siejka will qualify for a visa, but if that fails, club officials hope he could still qualify to play in this country due to his Polish ancestry.
Zak Hardaker, meanwhile, has been named Leeds Rhinos’ captain for Boxing Day, less than two months after leaving England’s World Cup squad for disciplinary reasons and being fined by his club for unprofessional behaviour.
Coach Brian McDermott said: “Zak has been through some tough times, of his own making, but his attitude since then has been first rate.
“I cannot praise him enough for how he has dealt with that lesson and the determination that he has shown to put things right.
“What happened with England and the World Cup is something I am sure he will always regret. However, all he can do now is learn from that experience and he is certainly doing that.
“As a club we took action against him and he has never once complained.”