WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats have signed St Helens centre Chris Dean after losing patience with Papua New Guinea international Jesse Joe Parker.
Dean was unveiled last night at the club's 2011 season launch –when Glenn Morrison was also named new captain – and is a
direct replacement for the former Featherstone player who failed to actually pull on a Trinity jersey.
Wakefield announced the capture of Parker on a two-year deal in September but his return to England after playing in the Four Nations has been held up by red tape and they yesterday confirmed the agreement was cancelled.
The Super League club also revealed they have released Richard Moore, the former Bradford prop who is expected to now join Crusaders, Wildcats coach John Kear having sourced a replacement from the NRL.
Although Parker's non-arrival may be a let-down for some supporters given he had impressively scored 17 tries in just 15 appearances for Championship neighbours Featherstone last season, the capture of Dean on a one-year deal may serve as a better long-term prospect.
Only 22, the young Englishman has scored nine tries in 19 Super League games over the last two campaigns when he has acted as a promising understudy for gifted Australian Matt Gidley.
Having been at Knowsley Road for seven years, he also gleaned plenty from another classy Kangaroo centre – Jamie Lyon – but is seen now as someone ready to make his own mark.
Wildcats chief executive James Elston said: "Chris is a strong, line-breaking centre with big game experience.
"He has already shown his commitment by moving from St Helens to live here in Wakefield and we're delighted to get him."
Experienced second-row Morrison was an obvious choice as replacement for Jason Demetriou, the outgoing Wildcats captain who is set to join Dewsbury.
The dedicated Australian, 34, enjoyed a stellar campaign after joining from Bradford Bulls, a club he also led, and Kear had no hesitation handing him the role ahead of a crucial period for Trinity.
They are one of the clubs sweating on their Super League licence bid, are also at a delicate stage in their plans for a new stadium while an abject finish to last season, winning just twice in their final 12 games, means plenty of faith has to be restored.
Kear sees Morrison as the ideal totem and said: "It is a vital appointment not only because of the role a captain plays in the group dynamics of the team, but also because it is the final year of this great club's tenure at Belle Vue.
"The person appointed had to be deemed suitable in such circumstances. Glenn obviously is."
Keighley Cougars will advertise for a new head coach after long-serving Barry Eaton accepted the offer to be Iestyn Harris's assistant at Crusaders.
The ex-Dewsbury, Batley and Widnes scrum-half was a former Wales team mate of Harris and has proved a significant success in his first coaching role, helping Cougars win promotion to the Championship last year.
They were relegated this season but mainly due to the effects of a nine-point deduction after entering administration.
"I've heard the way Iestyn, such an iconic figure, has spoken so highly of what's going on in Wrexham and it was too good to turn down," said Eaton, who had been in charge at Keighley since 2006.
Cougars assistants Glenn Barraclough and Matt Bramald are likely to put forward their claims with Eaton set to take up his new post in the New Year.