Salford recruit forwards: Rugby League

Salford will be able to field five Test forwards in their Super League pack this season following the signings of David Hulme and Esene Faimalo.

Hulme, capped eight times by Great Britain as a half-back but now primarily a loose-forward, has joined the club as a free agent from Leeds.

Faimalo, who missed all of last season with Leeds after detaching a retina, can play prop or second row and has been capped by both New Zealand and Western Samoa.

"Our coach, Andy Gregory, has been drumming it into me that we need a pack of forwards that can compete in the Super League," John Wilkinson, the Salford chairman, said. "We now have the strength in depth we are going to need."

Gregory, who played alongside Hulme at Widnes, said: "We always used to like coming to Salford, but we want to make it the sort of place teams hate to come to. David Hulme is a player people detest playing against."

Faimalo, who also started his British career with Widnes, and who, like Hulme, has agreed a two-year contract, will make his debut for Salford in Gary Sanderson's testimonial match at Warrington on Sunday.

Hulme trained with his new team-mates for the first time yesterday and will be held back, but Salford's other newly signed Test forwards, Andy Platt and John Cartwright, will appear in their colours for the first time.

With the New Zealand international Peter Edwards at hooker, Salford now have an enviable nucleus of experience in their side for the coming season.

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