Castleford Tigers have completed the signing of Samoan forward Jesse Sene-Lefao on a two-year deal from Cronulla Sharks.
Sene-Lefao becomes the Tigers sixth signing for the 2017 season following the announcements of Larne Patrick, Rangi Chase, Greg Eden, Tuoyo Egodo and Daniel Igbinedion.
Seno-Lefao made six appearances for the Sharks in 2016 and has plenty of NRL experience with his previous club Manly Sea Eagles.
He made his debut for Manly in 2013 in the opening round of the season against Brisbane Broncos. He went on to play 38 games over three seasons with the NRL club.
The 26-year-old has international experience after making his Samoan debut in 2014. He played alongside current Castleford Tigers half-back, Ben Roberts in the 2014 Four Nations against England.
Sene-Lefao said: “I’m really excited to be heading to the UK to join Castleford Tigers. I’m good friends with Ben Roberts and Junior Moors and they’ve both told me much such positive stories about the club and how passionate the fans are.”
He added: “I’m ready now to take my game up to a new level and Castleford sounds perfect for me. I’m looking forward to playing for a club that plays such a big part in the community and my family and I are looking forward to the experience of moving overseas and getting to know the people of Castleford.”
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell highly rates the Samoan forward. He said: “I’m delighted that Jesse has agreed to join us. I watched him play two years ago for Manly and I was really impressed with his skill, energy, enthusiasm and determination as a player. This year he was in a great environment at the eventual winners of the NRL Cronulla Sharks and I’m sure he’ll bring his great experience as a player to help us as a club achieve our goals.”
Castleford chief executive Steve Gill added: “Jesse is going to be a great addition to our pack. At 26 years of age we feel as though it’s the right age for him to develop into the cornerstone of our pack for years to come, and I’m sure he will be a big favourite with our fans. I would like to thank Cronulla Sharks for agreeing to release Jesse from his contract early to join us.”