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Lopini Paea swaps France for Wakefield

Wakefield coach James Webster has returned to Perpignan to make his latest signing for 2015.

James Webster signs his fourth player for 2015
James Webster signs his fourth player for 2015 Credit: Press Association

Tonga prop Lopini Paea, 30, is to follow his Catalan Dragons team-mate Mickael Simon in swapping the south of France for West Yorkshire after signing a 12-month contract with the Wildcats.

Paea, whose brother Mickey plays for Hull, has made 76 Super League appearances since joining the French club from Sydney Roosters in 2011.

"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."

The 16st 3lb Paea, who captained Tonga in the 2008 World Cup, is Wakefield's fourth addition to their squad for 2015 following the acquisition of Simon, Craig Hall and Matty Ashurst as Webster prepares for his first full season in charge.

It's a new challenge for me, a new lifestyle and I feel like a big kid starting all over again.

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.

– Lopini Paea

Luke Gale swaps Bradford for Castleford

Castleford Tigers have announced the signing of Bradford Bulls half-back on a two-year deal for the 2015 season.

Gale leaves Bulls for Castleford
Gale leaves Bulls for Castleford Credit: Castleford Tigers

Gale, 26, is the second half-back to pen a deal for next year, alongside Samoan international Ben Roberts who has signed from Melbourne Storm. He is Daryl Powell's sixth confirmed signing, after Roberts, Junior Moors, Denny Solomona, Matt Cook and Steve Crossley.

I am really excited to be here. Castleford have had a great season, and Daryl and his team around him have fulfilled the potential, and they have turned Cas into a proper team. I am jumping at the opportunity and I cannot wait. Daryl showed a bit of interest, and I have worked with him at the England Knights and at Leeds before. I like how he goes about things, and even though there was other interest, once I spoke to Daryl that was it - I wanted to join Castleford.

– Luke Gale

I am delighted we have been able to secure the services of a quality half back who not long ago was just on the edge of international recognition. Luke's organisational ability alongside his willingness to both play at the defensive line and indeed through it will fit neatly into how we want to play next season. His passing and kicking game are top quality. Luke alongside Ben Roberts and Liam Finn give us variety and quality at half back with Ben Reynolds proving he can also step up when needed, giving us additional depth in such a pivotal position.

– Daryl Powell, Castleford Tigers coach

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Clark leaves Castleford for Warrington

Castleford Tigers have confirmed that Daryl Clark will leave the club at the end of the 2014 Super League Season.

Clark to leave Castleford
Clark to leave Castleford Credit: Castleford Tigers

He has signed a four-year deal with Warrington Wolves from next season until November 2018.

Clark came through the scholarship and academy ranks at Castleford which is his home town club. He made his first-team debut in 2010, becoming a regular in the side the following year.

When I took on the head coach job last season the deal had already been done for Daryl to move to Warrington which secured the future of the club at that time. Whilst we obviously don't want to lose our best players this deal was in the best interests of the club. I have to say that Daryl has been an absolute pleasure to work with and it has been great to see him mature as a player and person this season.

– Daryl Powell, Castleford Tigers coach

I’ve really enjoyed my time here at Castleford Tigers. This is my home town club and I will always be a Cas fan. My proudest moment has been helping this team reach the Challenge Cup Final and I’ll continue to give my all to help Castleford Tigers reach the Super League Grand Final.

– Daryl Clark

Rugby League braced for Hull derby

Both head coaches from cross city rivals Hull FC and Hull KR have been building up the significance of this Friday's derby at the KC Stadium.

FC coach Lee Radford all but admitted defeat in his club's quest for the Super League playoffs after last weekend's defeat to Bradford.

But his opposite number Chris Chester, who signed a new three year contract yesterday, knows a win for his side will put them in the running for a shot at the end of season playoffs:

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Rovers appoint Chester as head coach

Hull Kingston Rovers have appointed Chris Chester as the club’s head coach on a permanent basis, signed a three-year deal at the KC Lightstream Stadium.

Chester in 2011
Chester in 2011 Credit: Press Association

The former Robins player and assistant coach was placed in temporary charge of all first team duties in July following the departure of Craig Sandercock.

Speaking to www.hullkr.co.uk, he said: “I’m absolutely delighted. It’s a dream come true for me and I’m going to do my utmost to get this side back to where it belongs.

“It’s a great honour and privilege to be the head coach of Hull Kingston Rovers and I want to put on record my thanks to the directors who have been fantastic with me over the past six weeks.

Chris Chester
Chris Chester Credit: hullkr.co.uk

“It’s been a testing period with some ups and downs but I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity. I’ve not been afraid to make the big decisions, I’ve been honest with the players and they’ve been honest with me in return, so hopefully that will continue.

A former England Schools captain, Chester enjoyed spells with Halifax, Wigan, Hull FC and the Robins during a distinguished playing career and featured in two Super League Grand Finals as well as a Challenge Cup final.

Hanging up his boots in 2008 through injury, he joined Hull KR’s coaching staff following a brief spell working with Castleford’s academy and has served his apprenticeship as the assistant to both Justin Morgan and Sandercock over the past six seasons.

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