Wakefield Wildcats confirm Paul Aiton deal

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WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats have confirmed the signing of Papua New Guinea international Paul Aiton, subject to a successful visa application.

The 26-year-old hooker has signed a two-year contract at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium and becomes Wakefield’s 17th new signing for Super League XVII, following hot-on-the-heels of Richard Mathers, who signed on a season-long loan from Castleford Tigers yesterday.

Aiton, who has long been linked with a move to the Wildcats, will arrive in the Merrie City from NRL side Cronulla Sharks and can’t wait to get started in the red, white and blue in 2012.

“I had certain goals that I wanted to achieve in the NRL and I’ve achieved those,” he said.

“Another goal of mine was to play in the Super League and there were a couple of clubs interested but I met with Richard Agar when he was in Australia and from the way he spoke about the club I wanted to be part of the rebuilding.

“The Super League seems to be a very attacking type of rugby, fast around the ruck and I think that will suit my game. Hopefully I can bring some of my experience to the squad and some creativity as well.”

Aiton has made 39 appearances for his country and is a former team-mate of fellow new Wakefield arrivals Tim Smith and Dean Collis at Cronulla.

The hooker met Agar in Australia during the Four Nations and the Wildcats head coach is delighted to get his man.

“Paul is a tough and committed player with a real strength of character who plays the game very quick and direct,” he said.

“He’s a proven performer in the NRL and on the international stage with PNG where he has shown tremendous leadership qualities as their captain.

“As well as playing hooker he’ll fill a number of other roles for us too. He’s a very experienced and high quality performer.”

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