St Helens recruit Fozzard to bolster pack

Click to follow
The Independent Online

St Helens have signed the Warrington prop Nick Fozzard on a three-year contract for next season. The 26-year-old former Leeds and Huddersfield forward becomes the Super League champions' second confirmed signing for 2004 after last month's acquisition of New Zealand centre Willie Talau.

Saints, who are still waiting to hear if prop Darren Britt intends to retire at the end of the season, have been trying to bolster their pack, recently capturing the former Wakefield forward Keith Mason on a three-and-a-half-year contract.

The St Helens coach, Ian Millward, said of Fozzard: "He's a big, tough forward and I was impressed by the way he played in last season's Origin games for Yorkshire. He'll complement some of our outstanding attacking players and gives us some more go-forward, which is something everyone in Super League is looking for."

The 6ft 4in Fozzard, who is in his 10th season as a professional, never fulfilled his promise at Leeds and Huddersfield, but his uncompromising style has earned him a big reputation at Wilderspool. "I think it's a great opportunity to join a team who are continually challenging for Super League honours," Fozzard said. "I'm looking forward to teaming up with Ian and the Saints next season, but for now I'm going to be concentrating on Warrington. I've enjoyed my time at the Wolves and especially the fans, who have given us incredible support."

Saints will be without centre Martin Gleeson for tomorrow's match at Wakefield after he spent much of this week in hospital with blood poisoning. "Martin picked up an infection after a training incident and was quite sick after the Huddersfield game last week," said Millward. "He's been into hospital to have that dealt with and he'll probably be ruled out for a couple of weeks."

St Helens will also be without forwards Paul Sculthorpe, who has a hamstring injury, and Chris Joynt, with a knee injury.

Wakefield are set to give debuts to Academy trio Mark Field, Matt Blake and Darren Jordan after an injury crisis reduced their senior squad from 24 to 14.