Wakefield RFC have snapped up three new players – including Yorkshire scrum-half Andy Brown – and persuaded influential skipper Glen Wilson to re-sign for another year writes Richard Byram.
Wilson, who is 27 next month, is currently on tour with the England Counties squad and has been at Wakefield his entire career.
The Grovers are delighted the popular No 8 has pledged himself to the club for another year in the face of offers from elsewhere:
"Glen has been at the club all his career and has been a very important player for us and a bit of a talisman for the rest of the squad so I am sure the other players are delighted he is staying as well," said coach Steve Townend.
'Field pulled off a second coup by persuading highly-rated Brown to move from arch rivals Otley, who finished one place below Wakefield in the National 1 table last season.
Townend told Express Sport it ended a four year chase for the player who has been at Cross Green all his career and like Wilson is currently on tour with England Counties, playing in their narrow 26-24 defeat against France Amateur on Tuesday.
"I tried to get him three or four years ago when I was Director of Rugby, but now we have finally got him on a two year deal and are delighted to be able to add a player of Andy's quality to our squad.
"I think he felt he had gone a bit stale at Otley and was looking for a new challenge and I am sure he will fit in very well."
Townend is hoping to persuade last season's scrum half Dominic Castle to sign again and he has promised the Grovers a final decision when he returns from holiday:
"Dominic Castle did an excellent job for us last season in difficult circumstances and I think Andy's signing will bring out the best in both of them."
The second new signing former Rotherham and Newcastle Falcons back Nick Wainwright, a versatile capture who can play at stand-off, centre or full back, and is someone Townend knows well from his days with North U21s.
Flanker/second row forward Jimmy Rule has also moved from Otley and is expected to provide competition for places in the pack, with last season's double player of the year Mick Watson moving up to head coach and squad man Jonathan Pettemerides leaving for Bath.
With centre Diccon Edwards retiring to take up the head coach's job at Selby and fellow three-quarter Neil Summers also hanging up his boots, Townend would still like to add three to five players to the squad, with a loose head to prop to replace Derek Jelley the priority.
The club expects the rest of last season's squad to stay, with pre-season training dues to start again on Tuesday week, July 7.
"We operated with a squad of 25 last season and I would like to increase that. We are aiming to create competition in all areas of the field and these signings will enable us to do that."