Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have continued their extensive close-season recruitment with the signing of Papua New Guinea international Paul Aiton.
The 26-year-old Cronulla hooker, who captained the Kumuls in the 2010 Gillette Four Nations Series, has joined the Wildcats on a two-year deal, subject to a successful visa application.
Aiton becomes Wakefield’s 17th recruit for 2012 and their second signing in as many days following the capture of Castleford Tigers full-back Richard Mathers on a season-long loan deal.
“Paul is a tough and committed player with a real strength of character who plays the game very quick and direct,” said Wildcats coach Richard Agar.
“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.”
Aiton, who has won 39 caps for his country, began his career at Penrith Panthers for whom he made 70 appearances before spending the last two years with the Sharks.
“I had certain goals that I wanted to achieve in the NRL and I’ve achieved those,” said Aiton.
“Another goal of mine is 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.”