Italy international Jake Maizen signs for UK club following World Cup showing

ITALY international Jake Maizen has signed for a UK club following his strong showing in the recent Rugby League World Cup.

The 25 year old three-quarter, who can play as a centre or winger, joins the Halifax Panthers from Queensland Cup side Sunshine Coast Falcons in Australia.

He made his international debut during the Rugby League World Cup this Autumn, scoring a superb hat-trick against Scotland in a 28-4 win before grabbing the only score in defeat to Fiji for a total of four World Cup tries in 3 appearances.

Speaking after arriving at his new home ground for the first time, Maizen can’t wait to get started.

“I’m stoked to be here at Halifax”, said Maizen. “I can’t wait to rip in with the boys and I’m excited as. It’s the first time I’ve been to The Shay, it’s nice, it’s big and it’s cold (laughs). But yeah, I’ve seen and heard stories about how crazy the fans are here and I can’t wait to experience it.”

“Before I came to the UK for the World Cup, I had it in the back of my mind that playing in England was something that I’d like to do. Playing with Kingy (Ryan King) too over there, I heard a lot of stories about the club and that obviously encouraged me to come here as well.”

“I feel I’m a bit of a gamebreaker. I don’t mind getting in, having a few carries and I’m told I don’t shut up so that’s something else I bring (laughs). I’ll play anywhere the team needs me, I’ve played centre recently so I would probably say that’s my preferred position but I can play anywhere across the back line so I’m not too stressed. It’s an opportunity for me. I’ll take it as it comes and hopefully, I can stay here for as long as they’ll take me but yeah, I’ll just take it a year at a time.”

And Panthers head coach Simon Grix was happy to have another quality addition to his squad for 2023.

“He seems like a good, bubbly personality which will fit in nicely here”, said Grix. “He’s got a couple of connections here already in Lachlan (Walmsley) and Ryan King so hopefully that’ll help him settle in. But with regards to Jake as a player, he’s athletic, strong, fast and can play multiple positions which is something we always tend to look for where we can.

“Jake can play anywhere in the backline and he showed some qualities at the world cup, but more than that when I’ve looked into him and got some opinions around him from people I trust, it’s all come back pretty positive. So yeah, happy to give him an opportunity, him feel us out, us feel him out and see where it takes us.”