Dom Brambani’s capture from Batley Bulldogs seen as a “major coup” by Hunslet boss Gary Thornton

EXPERIENCED PIVOT Dom Brambani has joined Hunslet from Batley Bulldogs in what coach Gary Thornton says is a “massive” coup for the Betfred League One club.

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 4:58 pm
Dom Brambani's signing is seen as a major coup by Hunslet. PIC: Bruce Fitzgerald/JPIMedia

Brambani, 34, began his career in Super League with Castleford Tigers 15 years ago and later had spells at Halifax, Sheffield Eagles – twice – and Dewsbury Rams.

Hunslet have also agreed new contracts with two of last season’s top performers, prop Zach Braham and hooker Vila Halafihi, as Thornton steps up preparations for the new season which begins away to Keighley Cougars on Sunday, February 16.

“It was obvious from last year’s performances, particularly at home, that we missed some experience in the pivots,” Thornton said.

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Hunslet head coach, Gary Thornton. PIC: Courtesy Hunslet RLFC

“We didn’t have that game-sense and game-management when we needed it so this is a major signing for us. Dom has played at the high end of the Championship for most of his career and he is a great addition for us.”

From last season’s halves, Joe Sanderson has left the club to play in Australia and Reece Dean signed for Batley before giving up the game for work reasons.

Danny Nicklas has also moved on and Thornton said: “We tried various combinations last year and they didn’t work out the way we had hoped.

“Bringing in somebody of Dom’s quality was important. I like the way he defends and the way he runs a game, but most important is his game-management and doing the right things at the right time. We spoke to Dom and when he was keen to come it was a no-brainer for us.”

Keeping Braham and Halafihi has also given the Parksiders a lift.

Thornton said: “Vila was players’ player and coaches’ player of the year last year and Zach was most improved. I had to fight off competition from other clubs, both were wanted by other clubs so it was a struggle to keep them, but we got there in the end and I am pleased about that.”

Meanwhile, Hunslet have reported a 38 per cent increase in members since long-term supporter Jason Peterkin and former Cronulla chairman Damian Irvine were confirmed as new non-executive directors of the club.