THE PROSPECT of working with coach Brian Smith was a key factor in attracting Michael Sio to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
Sio, a utility-forward, arrived in England last week and has been named in Wildcats’ initial 19-man squad for tomorrow’s visit of Hull.
The former Mackay Cutters man has signed a contract lasting until the end of next season and he said: “Brian being here played a big part, probably the majority of it.
“He has taken teams to Grand Finals and turned a lot of players into legends. Coming here, hopefully he will do the same for me.”
Sio also reckons he will benefit from being part of a fully-professional environment at Wildcats.
He added: “I was playing part time for Mackay and working as well and that drains you mentally and physically as well, so I think being full-time here will do a lot for my game.”
Sio has played alongside Wildcats’ half-back/hooker Pita Godinet at Test level and he admitted: “Him being here has done a lot for me. Coming here and seeing a familiar face has helped me settle in a bit more.
“We’ve played together for Samoa so the combinations are there, which is good.”
Sio could be one of four debutants in Wildcats’ side tomorrow.
Ex-Salford Red Devils full-back Kevin Locke, utility-player Jordan Tansey – signed from Castleford Tigers – and prop Anthony Walker, brought in from St Helens, are also in Smith’s initial squad.
Wingers Tom Johnstone and Chris Riley drop out from the team beaten 32-12 at Catalans Dragons 10 days ago.