Sharks forward departs and links up with former coach Brian Smith

Tinirau Arona

Opportunity is everything in rugby league and players have to sometimes broaden their horizons in search of a new challenge and a new move.

For Cronulla Sharks forward Tinirau Arona, it is overseas where his next challenge lies, as the utility forward signs a one-year deal with Super League side the Wakefield Wildcats.

Still only 26, Arona can play back-row, lock and prop and joins former Sharks team-mate Anthony Tupou who also joined the club recently.

Arona will also have the chance to link up with former coach Brian Smith, having worked with him during his time at the Roosters in 2011 to 2013.

With in excess of 70 first-grade games to his name and international appearances for the Cook Islands, the move is a new experience for Arona but one he looks forward to.

“It’s a big change coming from Cronulla Sydney but me and my family are looking forward to embracing Wakefield as our new family and home,” said Arona.

“Travelling with my good friend Anthony Tupou and reuniting with my first NRL coach Brian Smith makes this move even more exciting for me. I have played some of my best football under the guidance of Smithy and I’m looking foward to improving my game with him as my coach again.”

“I cannot wait to put on the Wildcats jersey and with my new teammates make a big impact in this tournament.”

Wildcats head coach Brian Smith also looks forward to reuniting with a former player of his and is well aware of his skill-set.

“‘T’ Arona is not nearly as decorated as his teammate at the Sharks, Tupou. He is well known to me though from when he was a youngster at Roosters as a rookie,” said Smith.

“His versatility and skillful play with feet and hands will add great depth to the Wildcats pack in 2016.”

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