The plan was to attract some big names and the Brooklyn Kings have pulled off the scalp of Eddy Pettybourne on a two-year deal.
Pettybourne, who has played for the Wests Tigers, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, and the Gold Coast Titans in the NRL, is the first big name to join the new North American Rugby League competition.
Pettybourne is no stranger to the US setup, having represented the USA at World Cups in the past.
Pettybourne has also played for Wigan and Toulouse and at present, is playing for French rugby league side Villeneuve.
Pettybourne still has commitments to Villeneuve in the short term but is excited to join the Brooklyn Kings for the inaugural season.
“I’m very excited to be joining a great organization in the Brooklyn Kings,” Pettybourne said.
“It’s always been a passion and dream of mine to give back to the game of rugby league in America.
“I’m looking forward to meeting my new teammates and front office, and working towards back-to-back championships for the club.”
The Brooklyn Kings are equally pleased as they look to win back-to-back titles, this time under the NARL banner.
“Eddy is an incredible addition to our team, both on and off the field,” Brooklyn Kings’ Founder Matt Bailey said.
“This moment is a massive show of confidence for our club, the new league, and the Brooklyn community, and we thank Eddy for trusting in and propelling our vision.
“We can’t wait to welcome Eddy and his young family to Brooklyn, and to build something special.”