Australian prop Justin Poore has been cleared to start the new Super League season with Wakefield.
The 27-year-old, who has joined the Wildcats on a two-year contract from Parramatta, was sent off for punching just 18 minutes into his first appearance for the club in their Boxing Day defeat at Leeds.
Anything more than a one-match ban would have forced him to sit out Wakefield’s opening Super League game against Bradford on February 3, but he was charged with a minor grade A offence and was able to submit an early-guilty plea to avoid any suspension.
The case was held up while the Rugby Football League obtained details of his NRL career to establish his right to enter into plea bargaining.
Poore, who has now lost the right to submit an early-guilty plea for the next 12 months, is currently with Wakefield at their training camp in Portugal and has been named in coach Richard Agar’s squad for Sunday’s home friendly against Featherstone.
Fellow front row Brad Singleton, who has joined the Wildcats on loan from Leeds, is set to make his debut in that match.
Featherstone Rovers have secured a ‘multiple six figure’ investment after PROBIZ founder and entrepreneur Feisal Nahaboo agreed to become a major shareholder of the Championship club.
Nahaboo is a former main backer of Castleford Tigers and Probiz also sponsor Blackburn Rovers FC and have an involvement at Wigan Warriors, as well as several other football and cricket clubs.
With the ambition of turning Rovers into a top-six Super League club, Nahaboo, said: “We are the best outside Super League and I now intend to compete with the very best clubs in the UK.”
“The funds are now there to build one of the best squads in rugby league and we will endeavour to spend and help improve stadium facilities over the next few months.”
n Wigan and England forward Gareth Hock will miss the start of the new Super League season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
The 29-year-old back row missed the Warriors’ pre-season training camp in Florida before Christmas after having the operation following England’s autumn internationals but the injury was kept under wraps until yesterday.
“Gareth will be out for at least six weeks of the new season,” said coach Shaun Wane. “We’re fortunate that we have a number of talented second rowers in the squad.”
Hock’s injury setback emerged amid fresh rumours over his future at Wigan.
He was poised to join Australian club Parramatta in the winter after recapturing his form following his return from a two-year drugs ban.
However, the move fell through and Hock subsequently lost his Wigan number 12 jersey to Liam Farrell.