Laffranchi to join St Helens in UK League - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Laffranchi to join St Helens in UK League

04/05/2011 03:20:55 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast backrower Anthony Laffranchi will join Super League side St Helens in 2012, clearing the way for the Titans to step up their bid to sign Nate Myles from NRL rivals the Sydney Roosters.

Laffranchi, off contract at the end of the season, announced on Wednesday that he would head to England at the end of the season on a lucrative two-year deal.

A foundation player with the Titans who won a premiership with Wests Tigers in 2005, Laffranchi is sidelined with an ankle injury, but his arrival at St Helens will help offset the loss of James Graham - who will head to Australia next year to link up with Canterbury.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity of taking my young family over to the UK in the short-term, but I'm really looking forward to the long-term prospect of coming back and working for this great club that hopefully I helped build up over the last few years," said Laffranchi.

"I always said coming through when I first started playing NRL that I'd like to give back to the game what I get out of it, so I think being a local junior from the area, I can definitely relate to some of the kids coming through the system."

With Laffranchi off their books, the Titans are expected to step up their bid to sign Queensland Origin forward Myles.

Myles' deal with the Roosters does not expire until the end of the 2012 season, but it is believed he has been told he can leave at the end of this season if he manages to secure a deal elsewhere.

Gold Coast are also in the hunt to sign St George Illawarra fullback Darius Boyd, but the Queensland and Australian flyer is expected to follow departing Dragons' coach Wayne Bennett to Newcastle next season.

Titans' coach John Cartwright said Laffranchi would be missed.

"It is a big loss. We've been talking to Boof about this for a while and had some lengthy heart-to-hearts on it. I was in a very similar situation myself as a player and a lot of things come into it," said Cartwright.

"As far as Boof leaving goes, it's much more than what he brings on the field. He's been a very important part of what we've been able to set up off the field, and how our club is viewed by our supporters and the rugby league community in general has a lot to do with those four or five guys that signed at the very start."

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