Huddersfield Giants have signed Australian prop-forward Shannon Wakeman from Illawarra Cutters on a two-year contract.
The 26-year-old is Giants’ second signing this week, following full-back Jake Mamo who has joined them from NRL side Newcastle Knights.
Wakeman helped Cutters to the New South Wales Cup title last season and was named in the competition’s form team of the year.
Huddersfield coach Rick Stone confirmed he is a direct replacement for Craig Huby following his transfer to Wakefield Trinity.
“Obviously the move away by Craig came a bit out of left field and left us searching for an established and experienced out-and-out front-row forward,” Stone said.
“I had already considered Shannon for further down the line for us, but when our situation changed then Shannon was my go-to guy to come across.
“I have seen plenty of him in action back home and he is a big, mobile type of front-rower and I know he wants a crack at the top-flight which is something I am pleased we can give him.
“He is at the stage of his career now where if he is going to make the big breakthrough then he needs an opportunity and a start.
“We can provide both for him and I am quietly confident he can bring a lot to our squad.
“He is a big man, around 6’2 and he can motor a bit.”
Wakeman said: “I am happy to have a new challenge overseas and in the Super League at Huddersfield.
“I’ll be teaming up again with my front-row partner Sebastine Ikahihifo, who played last year with us for a while before he moved to the UK, so it’ll be good to have a familiar face when I get there
“ I’ll spend Christmas here in Australia and then as soon as my documentation comes through I’ll be straight across and ready to rip in for the Giants.
“I’ve wanted a crack full-time in the top grade for a long time now and reckon I’ve served my apprenticeship so the opportunity at Huddersfield is great for me and one that I want to make the most of.”