Wakefield Wildcats sign Parramatta Eels prop Justin Poore

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WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats have pulled off a major coup by signing Australian prop Justin Poore.

As reported in the Express last week, Wildcats head coach Richard Agar had targeted the 27-year-old former State of Origin player as one of "three or four" Australian-based players on his 'wanted' list - and he's got his man.

Poore has penned a two-year deal with Wakefield and moves from Parramatta Eels, where he spent three years. The powerful prop has played 178 games in the NRL having made his debut with St. George Illawarra Dragons in 2004 and played in all three games of the 2009 Origin series for New South Wales.

Wildcats beat off competition from an NRL club, understood to be Newcastle Knights, and Poore is looking forward to the experience of playing in Super League and working with Agar.

"I've had almost ten years in the NRL and I wanted a different challenge," said Poore.

"I've always wanted to experience playing in England and Wakefield really appealed to me because it is a very family orientated club. I probably didn't think I'd be coming over at this stage in my career but when the opportunity came around I jumped at it because it's a short career and you never know when it might come around again.

"I'd probably say the decisive factor for me was Richard Agar. Some coaches can be very ruthless with how they speak to players but the way he spoke to me he convinced me to come to Wakefield."

Poore played alongside Wildcats scrum-half Tim Smith as an Australian Schoolboy international and Wakefield fans will be hoping he has a similar impact in 2013.

He becomes the third player to sign for Wakefield in the close season after Reece Lyne and Paul Sykes and Wildcats Chief Executive James Elston said the signing is a significant one for the club.

"This is a major signing for us and shows our fans that we are in the market for some top quality players," he said.

"Justin is still only 27 and there was an NRL club after his services but he has chosen to come to Wakefield and I think that's an acknowledgement for the work that has been done, particularly by Richard Agar in creating an environment where players want to come and play for Wakefield.

"We have made no secret that we have been after a big man to lead the pack and Justin certainly is that. It's a signing that will get supporters excited and whet the appetite even further for 2013."

See this week's Wakefield Express for all the latest sports news from around the district.