Puletua is next to sign on at Saints

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The Independent Online

St Helens have followed the appointment of Mick Potter as their new coach by making Tony Puletua the first signing for next season. The 28-year-old New Zealand forward will arrive from the Australian club, Penrith, on a three-year contract.

"Tony will add size, athleticism and experience to our pack," Saints chairman Eamonn McManus said. "We are confident that he will strengthen our squad and be a big hit with fans."

Leeds have told the Kiwis that they will not release their full-back, Brent Webb, for the Test against Australia on 9 May. The match clashes with the Rhinos' Challenge Cup fifth round tie against Harlequins and the club's chief executive, Gary Hetherington, said Webb's release had been dependent on not drawing Super League opposition.

The same problem could prevent New Zealand drawing on players from St Helens and Warrington, who play each other a day later, although Wigan, who play the National League club Whitehaven, might be more relaxed about allowing Thomas Leuluai to play.

The former Kiwi international, Henry Paul, is to switch codes for the third time by joining Leeds Carnegie at the end of the Super League season.

Paul had a glittering career with Wakefield, Wigan and Bradford before playing union with Gloucester and England. At 34, he has been in outstanding form in Super League with Harlequins and they had indicated they wanted him for at least one more year.

Instead, he has signed a two-year deal with a club already doomed to relegation from the Guinness Premiership.

Castleford have confirmed that Dwain Chambers will play some part in the specially arranged reserve team friendly against York on Sunday.

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