Sometimes in a player’s career, they know when the time is right for a new challenge, and for former St George Illawarra Dragon and Parramatta Eels prop Justin Poore, that time was now – with the former NSW prop signing a 2-year deal with Super League side, Wakefield.
Poore, 27, has played in 178 NRL games to date, after making his debut in the NRL with the Dragons in 2004, before playing for the Eels for the last 3 years.
Poore is also a former Australian schoolboy, and played alongside current Wakefield half Tim Smith during that time – with Poore citing the idea of a new challenge in his career.
â€œIâ€™ve had almost ten years in the NRL and I wanted a different challenge,â€ said Poore.
â€œIâ€™ve always wanted to experience playing in England and Wakefield really appealed to me, because it is a very family orientated club. I probably didnâ€™t think Iâ€™d be coming over at this stage in my career but when the opportunity came around I jumped at it, because itâ€™s a short career and you never know when it might come around again.
â€œThe NRL is very controlled and thereâ€™s a lot of emphasis on defensive structures, but the Super League does seem a lot more open and that was tempting to come and be a part of. Itâ€™s a big plus for me and hopefully I can use some of my skills that Iâ€™ve not been able to for a few years.
â€œBut Iâ€™d probably say the decisive factor for me was Richard Agar. Some coaches can be very ruthless with how they speak to players but the way he spoke to me he convinced me to come to Wakefield.â€
Following the terrific 2012 season the Wildcats had, including a solid end-of-season run, Poore said he is looking forward to the opportunity, and is keen to see what British crowds are like.
â€œThe team got into the play-offs last year and hopefully we can aim for that again. I think itâ€™s different being at a club that arenâ€™t expected to win things like a Leeds or Wigan, and it can enhance the camaraderie within the group.
â€œIâ€™m looking forward to being part of a team that really appreciate what each other does for the team and put their bodies on the line for it.
â€œI spoke to Brad Mackay and he said the crowds over there are great, thereâ€™s lots of chanting and theyâ€™re loud. He said theyâ€™ll let you know if they donâ€™t like you, so hopefully I can show the Wakefield fans what I can do and theyâ€™ll like me!â€
James Elston, the Wildcats Chief Executive, said that the signing of the former representative prop is a significant one for the club.
â€œThis is a major signing for the club and shows our fans that we are in the market for some top quality players,â€ said Elston.
â€œJustin is still only 27 and there was an NRL club after his services but he has chosen to come to Wakefield and I think thatâ€™s an acknowledgement for the work that has been done, particularly by Richard Agar in creating an environment where players want to come and play for Wakefield.
â€œWe have made no secret that we have been after a big man to lead the pack and Justin certainly is that. Itâ€™s a signing that will get supporters excited and whet the appetite even further for 2013.â€