The 30-year-old, previously with Perth, Western Suburb and Cronulla, will arrive on a two-year contract in time to play in Leeds' Boxing Day fixture. The incoming Leeds coach, Dean Lance, who worked with Bell at Perth, said: "Paul is a player I've worked with and I'm very pleased that he's agreed to come to the Rhinos. He'll fit into the style of play that the Rhinos have used so effectively and he'll bring a great deal of experience to the squad."
Bell will be a direct replacement for his fellow countryman, Brad Godden, who is to return home after this season, and Leeds are still talking to other players in Australia.
For tonight's game, Leeds have addressed a manpower crisis in their forwards by recalling Garreth Carvell from his loan at Gateshead. The Thunder had hoped to keep the young prop for the rest of the season, but he has been called back after just a month.
Leeds have three forwards - Adrian Morley, Anthony Farrell and Terry Newton - suspended and another Jamie Mathiou out with an injury. Lee Jackson and Kevin Sinfield will start the match, while Jamie Jones-Buchanan and either Carvell or Andy Speak will be on the bench. Chev Walker, the 16- year-old centre who made a startling impact in his first team debut earlier this month, is also among the substitutes.
Wigan add Simon Haughton and Wes Davies to their squad. Haughton has been out with a thigh injury and missed a match against Halifax in early July whilst Davies is being rewarded for some prolific form in the under- 21s.