Castleford Tigers new signing

Weller Hauraki Photo: Press Association

Castleford Tigers have announced the signing of Leeds Rhinos' second rower Weller Hauraki on a two-year deal for next season.

Hauraki started his career in the NRL when he was signed with the Parramatta Eels as a teenager from the Dannevirke Tigers, where he played with current Tigers stand-off Rangi Chase. He made his first team debut for the Eels in 2007 and went on to make 32 appearances in three seasons for the club.

In 2010, Hauraki joined Crusaders RL and was a major part of the side that reached the play-offs for the first time, scoring 10 tries in 28 appearances for the Welsh club.

The following year Hauraki signed for the Rhinos, enjoying a successful 2011 season, picking up a Grand Final winners ring as well as appearing in the Challenge Cup final. He has also represented New Zealand Maori on a number of occasions, including the side's match against England in 2010.

I was on the lookout for a second rower with a strong presence both on and off the field and I believe Weller offers the right qualities to fulfil this role. His experience and exceptional attacking qualities will provide us with great stability and composure on the field as well as a role model for the younger, less-experienced players on the team.

He is a tough competitor and with his boxing background, I expect him to be a leading figure in training too. He ultimately gives us an overall package that is going to add a lot to the side next season. I look forward to working with him.

– Tigers head coach Ian Millward

Hauraki is Millward's seventh signing for next year joining Lee Gilmour, Michael Shenton, Jake Webster, Jamie Ellis, Jordan Tansey and Justin Carney.