A MAJOR signing has been made at Whitehaven RLFC to strengthen the squad ahead of the 2021 Betfred Championship season. Australian Ryan King is the first new addition to Gary Charlton’s 2021 squad, with the 23 year-old prop forward penning a one year deal with the side. He has previously played for the Sydney Roosters and Cronulla Sharks in Australia. He was hailed as an exciting prospect when he joined the Sharks. King was part of Italy’s train ning squad for the Rugby League World Cup and he will hold a place in the same squad for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, which is set to be held in England. He said: “I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing football in a different country. I’ve a couple of friends that have played in the competition with other clubs and they’ve always said how strong the competition is. “When the opportunity came I didn’t really think about it I just said yes straight away.” Coach Charlton expressed excitement for the 2021 season after making the signing. He said: “I’m delighted to have got Ryan’s signature. He is a big lad with a bit of pace and has a good step. “He can bend his back and has come through some good systems and played at a decent level. We look forward to seeing him arrive for pre season. I’d like to thank the vice presidents for helping us to be able to bring Ryan over.” Whitehaven chairman Tommy Todd added: “The club is really delighted with the signing of prop forward Ryan King, our first Australian for a little while. Gary Charlton and the football committee have been working very hard behind the scenes to secure some quality signings, and we hope this is the first but not the last. “Gary has been targeting players in positions where we were a bit weak and it will all help the club field a stronger side in 2021. He said: “I would like to thank Mark Stamper and Ashley Kilpatrick for all the time and effort they have put in to bring this signing ‘over the line’. "Another thanks to the vice presidents who are contributing quite heavily towards the costs of these new signings. Well done V.P’s and all who have recently purchased merchandise and thus helped the club."