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Thursday, 30 July 2015

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Haven target Big Rod

WHITEHAVEN have named one of their Papua New Guinea signing targets.

Jessie Joe Parker: Back in west Cumbria in January, hopefully with two international team-mates

Rodney Pora is the fearsome Test prop the club are poised to bring to The Recreation Ground and help mount a strong Championship challenge.

The ‘Big Rod’ has built up a fearsome reputation for PNG in the Test arena including World and Pacific Cup internationals.

All that remains now is for Pora to pass an English exam which is a pre-requisite to gaining a visa in Manilla.

He has already sat the tests and as the results have still to come (from Australia) this is causing delay in completing an eagerly-awaited deal.

Yesterday Whitehaven chief executive Barry Richardson confirmed: “Rodney has signed for us and once he passes the exam there should be no problems. I spoke to him on New Year’s Day and he’s as keen as mustard to come.

As been a regular in the Papua New Guinea team for several years and currently first choice No 8, Barry described Pora as “a big, rough tough forward who has a substantial presence on the field.”

This will be music to the ears of Recreation Ground players, officials and fans who appreciate that the team will need to be a lot stronger up front to be competitive in the Championship.

And there could be a double PNG boost as Whitehaven also remain confident of signing Pora’s front-row international team mate who can’t be named at this stage. “Terms have been agreed, all the paperwork has been sorted out at this end, we are just waiting for him to get a visa in his own country. We are keeping fingers crossed,” said Mr Richardson.

Definitely returning from PNG is the popular Jessie Joe Parker to add his considerable force to the back division having contributed spectacularly to the promotion success. The deal is signed and sealed. Barry Richardson will meet him at Newcastle Airport on January 10. And landing at the same airport on Friday all the way from Australia is speedy back line all rounder James Cameron.

“We have recruited well,” said Mr Richardson. “It’s going to be tough but if everybody pulls together on and off the field we can do well in the Championship.”

“One way or another our pack is going to be stronger and more powerful than last season having already signed two other experienced props in Paul Jackson and Lee Paterson.”

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