Sharks full-back Tongia joins Wildcats

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WAKEFIELD Wildcats have signed full-back Ryan Tongia from Cronulla Sharks until the end of the season with a view to a two-year deal at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.

The Papua New Guinea player has been linked with a move to Wakefield for a number of months and he arrived at the club on Thursday morning.

His initial contract will see him eligible to feature for Wakefield’s remaining four Super League matches this season and Tongia has revealed he’s already in talks to sign a two-year deal with the club from 2012.

“We’re in negotiations about a two-year deal but they [the club] want me to finish the season, that’s first and foremost,” he said.

“It’s been a bit of a wait, about four weeks it’s been. We had to wait on the new license to be given out.

“There were other clubs that were after me but Wakefield seemed the most committed to getting me here and that so it was just about being patient and waiting for them.

“I got my visa about six weeks ago so I was just waiting for the license.”

The 21-year-old had been identified by current Wildcats head coach John Kear.

And although disappointed at the news Kear won’t be at the club from next year, Tongia insists the news of his departure didn’t have an impact on his desire to join Wakefield.

“It was a little bit tough but at the same time it’s a business and I had to make a business decision for me and my family so I didn’t really worry too much about it,” he said.

“It would have been good to have him here, obviously he’s a big of a fan of me so it would have been good, I was looking forward to it, he’s got a lot of respect back in Australia.”

The former Gold Coast Titans man only landed in the country on Thursday morning and went straight to work on getting his fitness levels up in the club’s Belle Vue gym.

He’s also expected to be in action for the club’s reserve grade side on Saturday when they take on Hull KR.

Wildcats chairman Andrew Glover said: “Ryan will be a much needed, added boost for us as we reach the final few games of the season.

“His NRL experience and passion for the game will be a great asset to the side and I can’t wait to see him in a Wildcats jersey.”

“With the opportunity of signing a longer contract with the club, Ryan will be eager to demonstrate exactly what he is capable of and I’m sure we will see the best of him in the next few weeks.”

See today’s Wakefield Express Sport for all the latest Wildcats news.