Warrington coach Tony Smith is hopeful that star signing Peta Hiku will be able to arrive in the UK to start his new career in Super League as soon as next week.
The Wolves announced the capture of Penrith utility Hiku last week on a deal until the end of the 2019 season, providing Smith with a significant mid-season boost to his squad as the Wolves look to avoid the Qualifiers for the first time.
The club and Hiku are waiting on the player’s visa application to be approved, but Smith is quietly confident that the New Zealand international will be in a Warrington shirt sooner, rather than later.
“It depends on when he lands as to when he’ll slot in but we’re working towards next week,” he said.
“He’ll bring a number of things. He’s a talented player and has represented his country. He likes to carry the ball and can ask a lot of questions of defences.”
Meanwhile, Smith was left frustrated following the one-match ban handed out to England fullback Stefan Ratchford on Tuesday night.
Ratchford was banned for the first time in his career following a charge of tripping Wigan counterpart Sam Tomkins in Saturday’s Challenge Cup tie – a decision Smith did not agree with.
“I think Stef was trying block Sam but I don’t think he intentionally tripped him. It was the wrong thing to do but I think it was pretty innocuous,” he said.
“In 11 years that was Stef’s first time in front of the judiciary. I see some regular offenders go along for some pretty cynical stuff and pick up a week or two ban.
“I don’t think it makes practical sense but it’s for smarter people than me to look at and say whether it’s a good system or not.
“It’s unfortunate but we’ve got to serve it out and get on with it.”