Whitehaven's new Test prop Rodney Pora has finally been cleared to travel to the UK and should touch down at the Recre next month.
It’s great news for Haven, who had long-targeted a player they believe can make a big impact in the Championship this term.
“He wasn’t able to sit the English test until the beginning of December, despite the club, the Rugby Football League and UK Border Agency paperwork being in place since early October,” said Haven chief executive Barry Richardson.
“Rodney is now waiting for the issuing of his PNG visa which could take between three and four weeks. The club sees Rodney as a major signing and we want him here as soon as is practical.”
Prop was seen by many as one of Haven’s weaker positions last term, when they earned promotion to the second tier. And until Pora’s addition they had only three specialist front-rowers on the books – Paul Cullnean and Dave Houghton, two of their leading forwards in 2012, and ex-Super League star Paul Jackson, who was outstanding on his pre-season debut against Gateshead.
It is thought they will look to add another big forward to the squad. And with a partnership with top-flight giants St Helens in place, they will not be short of options.
Pora, who will join fellow PNG international Jessie Joe Parker at the Recre, looks likely to miss the league opener against visitors York on February 3 but fans should not have long to wait to see him in action.