If there are any New Zealand Warriors fans out there, you will remember Francis Meli well and may have tracked his progress in the Super League, with the former back to move again, this time to take up a 1-year deal with the Salford City Reds.
Meli, who is currently at St Helens, agreed to terms with Salford owner Dr Marwan Koukash confirming the signing and lauding Meli for his experience, versatility and consistency.
â€œSuccessful teams need to have experienced players in their ranks and we are delighted Francis is joining us,” said Koukash.
â€œI believe it is another good signing. Meli has been a very consistent performer in Super League. Players like this can bring so much to the squad and the dressing room environment.
â€œHe had a very impressive game against Salford the other week and we are getting another very good professional.
â€œI said the same thing about Adrian Morley.
â€œThese men can greatly influence other members of the squad.”
Meli, who also has experience on the international arena with 24 caps for Electronic Cigarette New Zealand and Samoa is a signing Koukash is excited about, as he thanked the St Helens club for the swift move.
â€œI would also like to place on record my thanks to their current clubs for not standing in the way of them moving to Salford,” said Koukash.
â€œFirstly to Simon Moran at Warrington for allowing Adrian the chance to fulfil a lifelong ambition of playing for Salford.
â€œMy thanks also go to Eamonn McManus at Saints for being very fair with Francis. I am sure both players will greatly contribute at Salford next year.
â€œI appreciate what their clubs have done.
â€œThis will be a big new challenge for Adrian and Francis.”
Although sad to see him go, the Saints send their best wishes to the departing Meli.
“We would like to place on record our gratitude to Francis for his effort and commitment to the club since he signed in 2006,” a club statement said.
“He has been a consummate professional and one of our strongest strike players in the Super League era.”