With the departure of Gareth Ellis to England at season’s end, the Wests Tigers have moved quickly to shore up their depth in the second-row, signing Souths Eddy Pettybourne for 3 seasons, and the Titans Bodene Thompson for 2 years.
The club also signed Panthers utility Masada Iosefa effective immediately until the end of 2013, as well as re-signing boom youngster David Nofoaluma, for another 2 seasons.
Wests Tigers CEO Stephen Humphreys sighted the loss of Ellis as one that the club had to rectify, by signing new back-rowers.
â€œWe obviously needed to bolster the back row position with the return to England of international Gareth Ellis at the end of the season,â€™â€™ said Wests Tigers CEO Stephen Humphreys.
â€œWith the experience of over 120 NRL matches between them, Eddy and Bodene will perfectly compliment the good group of young forwards we have coming through our ranks.
â€œWhilst best known as a hooker, Masada can cover a range of positions and will provide valuable depth to our roster.
â€œWe are also very pleased to extend the contract of David Nofoaluma. He is one of the most exciting young players in the NYC and we look forward to him forcing his way into the NRL squad in the foreseeable future.â€
Despite his departure at season’s end, Pettybourne is keen to finish the season on a high with the Rabbitohs.
â€œI have enjoyed my time at Souths, having come through the juniors to NRL. I am very excited about joining Wests Tigers and starting a new chapter in my career.â€
Souths coach Michael Maguire, wished Pettybourne all the best in his future career move.
â€œEddy has been a big part of this Club for a number of years and is an important part of our 2012 season as well,â€ Maguire said.
â€œHeâ€™s improved his game each week but this is a big opportunity for Eddy and we wish him the best of luck with his move to the Tigers at seasonâ€™s end.â€
For Bodene Thompson, he is thankful at the opportunity that he was given by the Titans, at the start of his first-grade career.
â€œI owe a lot to the Gold Coast for bringing me through my development and I want to finish the season off well,â€™â€™ he said.
â€œI am at the stage of my career where I feel like I am ready to play my best football and I look forward to working under Head Coach Tim Sheens and teaming up with some of my former Keebra Park High School mates at Wests Tigers.â€