WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats have further bolstered their front-row for 2015 with the capture of Catalan Dragons’ Lopini Paea.
The Tongan international follows current team-mate Mickael Simon to the West Yorkshire club on a one-year deal next season.
Prop Paea, 30, has averaged more metres per carry than any other Catalan forward during this Super League campaign.
Furthermore, having played in the 2010 NRL Grand Final with Sydney Roosters, he offers plenty of the experience head coach James Webster feels necessary to turn Trinity into play-off contenders next term.
“It’s a new challenge for me, a new lifestyle and I feel like a big kid starting all over again,” said the robust forward, who has played 76 Super League games since moving to Perpignan.
“I’m really looking forward to coming to Wakefield and recapturing some of my best form again.
“I’ve been very impressed with the way the team have been playing for each other since James Webster has taken over and as a player that’s something you want to be part of.”
The brother of Hull FC prop Mickey Paea, he will help replace the retiring Andy Raleigh and, also, Richard Moore, who was recently released and joined Hunslet Hawks.
He swells the front-ranks at Belle Vue, joining Simon, Grand Final winners Scott Anderson and Nick Scruton as well as youngster Daniel Smith.
ENGLAND KNIGHTS scrum-half Luke Gale hopes his move to Castleford Tigers from relegated Bradford Bulls will see him earn full international honours.
The gifted player switches West Yorkshire clubs on a two-year deal at the end of the season and will help fill the void left by Marc Sneyd, the Castleford half-back who joins Hull FC in 2015.
His capture also softens the blow of losing highly-rated hooker Daryl Clark, whose sale to Warrington Wolves for a £185,000 fee has been confirmed.
“Castleford have had a great season – Daryl (Powell) and his team around him have fulfilled the potential and turned Cas’ into a proper team,” said Gale, who was a half-back partner of Tigers assistant Danny Orr at London. “I’ve worked with Daryl at England Knights and Leeds, like how he goes about things, and even despite other interest, once I spoke to him that was it.
“He can take me and the club to that next level, I want to be playing in big games and in the England squad.”