Super League: Leeds Rhinos sign hooker Paul Aiton from Wakefield Wildcats

Last Updated: 05/11/13 3:38pm

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Paul Aiton: Has left Wakefield to join the Leeds Rhinos on a three-year deal

Paul Aiton: Has left Wakefield to join the Leeds Rhinos on a three-year deal

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Leeds Rhinos have moved to strengthen their hooking options with the addition of Wakefield Wildcats' Paul Aiton on a three-year contract.

Head coach Brian McDermott utilised the likes of Rob Burrow and Paul McShane in the role in 2013, although the latter has recently been transfer listed.

Papua New Guinea international Aiton has spent the last two seasons with the Wildcats and was named the club's Player of the Year for last season.

Aiton is delighted to have wrapped up the deal ahead of Friday's World Cup clash against New Zealand which will see the 28-year-old play at Headingley Carnegie as a Rhinos player.

"I would like to thank everyone connected with Wakefield for making me feel so welcome over the last two years and I am pleased that both clubs have come to an agreement that means I can join Leeds."
Paul Aiton

"I am very happy to be joining the Rhinos," he told the club's official website.

"I would like to thank everyone connected with Wakefield for making me feel so welcome over the last two years and I am pleased that both clubs have come to an agreement that means I can join Leeds.

"You only need to look at how many of the Rhinos team are in the current England squad to see the quality that is here at the club and I am excited about the future.

First game at Headingley

"It is nice that we have been able to get the deal done ahead of Friday's game against the Kiwis. I hope the Leeds fans will be out in force on Friday night and they will give me and the Papua New Guinea boys all their support as we know we face a big challenge against New Zealand."

Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott believes Aiton's experience will only enhance the Leeds squad, who have already landed England international winger Tom Briscoe for 2014.

"I am delighted that we have agreed the deal to bring Paul to Headingley Carnegie," said the Rhinos head coach.

"He has a wealth of experience both from the NRL and here in Super League with Wakefield and is performing on the highest stage as captain of his country in the World Cup.

"The addition of international class players in Paul and Tom Briscoe along with the recruitment of young talent in Andy Yates from Hunslet and the retention of our young stars adds significantly to the group we had last season and bodes well for the 2014."

Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington added: "We are delighted to have signed Paul and brought him to the club. Once we knew he was available, we have moved quickly to secure his signature and I am sure, just like his countryman Marcus Bai, he will become a firm fans favourite at the Rhinos."

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