Whitehaven RL has announced the signing of Italian international utility back Jake Maizen on a 12-month deal for the 2024 season.

Maizen who started for the Azzuri in the Rugby League World Cup held in England in 2022 signs from Halifax Panthers where he made 19 appearances for Fax scoring eight tries including two on his debut. He also made two appearances for Hunslet on loan in July.

Maizen made his Italian debut in the first group game of the World Cup scoring a hat-trick against Scotland in a 28-4 victory and went out to score four tries in three games as the Italians bowed out in the group stage.

Speaking about signing for Haven Maizen said: “I’m grateful for the opportunity the club has put in front of me and excited to see where this group of lads can end up. Speaking with Jonty and the board, Whitehaven feels like the right place for me to come and enjoy my footy again.

"I’m hopeful we can push for finals in the upcoming season and I’m keen to give my all to help achieve that. Very excited to meet all the fans. Go Haven.”

Haven head coach Jonty Gorley admitted to jumping at the signing of Maizen once he knew he was available saying: “When I heard that Jake might be available I jumped at the chance to speak to him. I knew of Jake a couple of years ago and watched him in the World Cup for Italy.

"What excites me about him is the pace he's got along with an evasive running game. He's dangerous every time he carries the ball.

"These qualities will only add to the squad's potential as we lacked a bit of pace last year in certain areas, so when my outside backs break in our own half I'd like to think they could finish, I think Jake will give us that threat along with a couple of other players.

"Jake can play centre, wing, and full-back and has even played in the halves before, so he'll definitely add quality and competition to the squad.”