Wakefield Trinity confirm deal for Australian forward

Wakefield Trinity have announced the signing of prop forward Jai Whitbread from Leigh Centurions.

The 23-year-old has signed for Trinity on a one-year deal, with the option for a second season at the Super League club.

Whitbread made 30 appearances in the NRL for Gold Cost Titans before moving to England late in the 2021 season, playing four times for a Leigh side already destined for the drop.

“It’s not often you get someone of Jai’s NRL experience and age on our doorstep,” said Wakefield head coach Willie Poching of the new addition.

“So, when the chance came to meet and speak to him, I was taken by his demeanour, size and his will to keep developing and have a big impact on our team and club.

“He is a good young man, who as a player has a great skill set for a big fella, and he will complement and enhance the style we want to implement next season.”

Whitbread has already begun training with his new club ahead of the 2022 season and he added: “It’s been unreal so far – the lads have been very welcoming and I’m enjoying being in training.

“My time at Leigh has given me an insight into what I can expect playing in Super League and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a high-paced game, there are plenty of offloads and the ball is always in play.

“It’s a really enjoyable brand of footy to play and watch, so I’m just ready to get ripped in now and can’t wait for it.”