Sport

Tigers' hunt lands Rabbit

Eddy Pettybourne of the Rabbitohs.
Eddy Pettybourne of the Rabbitohs. Ryan Pierse - Getty Images

A RESURGENT Wests Tigers has continued its recruiting spree and hasn't ruled out signing more players for next season.

After a horror start to the season when it lost five of the first six matches, the side is now back in the eight and on a four-game winning streak.

The good news continued off the field yesterday, the club announcing it had signed hard-running back-rower Eddy Pettybourne from South Sydney and Bodene Thompson from the Titans for the start of next season.

Pettybourne, 24, has signed a three-year deal, while Thompson has signed for two years.

It has also secured Penrith utility Masada Iosefa who will join the club immediately for the remainder of this season and next year, while promising NYC winger David Nofoaluma also re-signed for two years yesterday.

Those signings come on top of the announcement last month that Roosters star Braith Anasta had committed to the Tigers for the next two years.

Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys said with powerful second-rower Gareth Ellis heading back to England at the end of this season, the club had wanted to move quickly to ensure it covered his absence.

"We obviously needed to bolster the backrow position," Humphreys said.

Pettybourne and Thompson have played more than 120 NRL matches between them, Humphreys saying the pair would, "perfectly complement the good group of young forwards we have coming through our ranks".

A club spokesman yesterday said it was still in the market for players, adding there was no indication yet when Ellis would return from a leg injury he sustained against South Sydney in round five.

Meanwhile, South Sydney coach Michael McGuire, who moved quickly to cover the loss of David Taylor to the Titans from next season by signing Bronco back-rower Ben Te'o, said he was disappointed Pettybourne was leaving but wished him good luck at the Tigers.

"Eddy has been a big part of this club for a number of years. He's an important part of our 2012 season as well," McGuire said.

"He's improved his game each week."

Pettybourne said he was determined to finish the season on a high before heading to his new club.

"I've enjoyed my time at Souths but I'm very excited about joining Wests Tigers and starting a new chapter in my career," he said.

Thompson said he was at the stage of his career where he felt he was ready to play his best football.

Topics:  nrl, wests tigers



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