Former Roosters prop stays in Super League, signing with Catalans

Lopini Paea

Although it has been some time since he played for the Sydney Roosters, fans will remember prop Lopini Paea well – brother of Mickey Paea – with the name once synonymous in Roosters circles.

For the hulking prop, who has been in the Super League for a number of years now, he embarks on a new journey as he signs a 1-year deal with the Wakefield Wildcats.

Plying his trade with the Catalan Dragons for a few years and making 76 appearances as a result for the French based club, a move to Yorkshire is now on the cards for Paea.

Enjoying a stellar season with the Dragons so far, the addition of Paea is the fourth to the Wildcats squad for next season and Paea relishes the challenge ahead of him.

“It’s a new challenge for me, a new lifestyle and I feel like a big kid starting all over again,” said Paea.

“I’m really looking forward to coming to Wakefield and recapturing some of my best form again. I’ve been really impressed with the way the team have been playing for each other since James Webster has taken over and as a player that’s something you want to be part of.

“I’ve spoken to him a couple of times and I was really impressed with what he had to say.”

With all of the Wildcats’ other props re-signing, Paea is well aware of what they can do and believes the Wakefield forward pack will excel in 2015.

“I think we’ll have a good balance of options in there,” said Paea of Trinity’s front row forwards,” said Paea.

“There’s some experience, some grunt and some impact. We all bring our different styles and I think they can complement each other to help take the team forward.”

Knowing what he was capable of at Catalans, Wildcats coach James Webster is pleased to have Paea on board.

“He’s an experienced player and been a pivotal part of what is a very big and aggressive pack at Catalans,” said Webster.

“We’re extremely happy to have him with us for next year.

“I think we’re well covered with Simon, Scruton, Anderson, Paea and Daniel Smith coming through as well. We’re looking a lot stronger in that area for next year.”

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