Lance in a million

Saints new signing Lance Kovo Hohaia tackles Great Britain's Karl Pratt
Saints new signing Lance Kovo Hohaia tackles Great Britain's Karl Pratt
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WORLD Cup winner Lance Kovo Hohaia is heading for St Helens, and his arrival will hopefully coincide with the completion of the club’s new 18,000-capacity stadium.

The Kiwi, who celebrated his 28th birthday on April 1, has signed a four-year deal from the 2012 season.

Head coach Royce Simmons said yesterday: “Lance is a proven international.

“We aim to utilise him as a half-back, which is his preferred position, but he has tremendous utility and has played most of his recent rugby at full-back.

“We have some tremendous young talent in our back division, and Lance’s experience at the highest level will be of great benefit.”

Chairman Eamonn McManus said: “Lance is a genuine marquee signing for us, and will add experience and versatility to our backs. The club will have a fantastic new stadium next season, and we aim to have a team which can grace it.”

Hohaia has made more than 150 appearances for New Zealand Warriors – the club he joined in 2002.

The Kiwi, who is currently enjoying a testimonial season Down Under, said: “I am really excited at the prospect of joining Saints and relishing the challenges ahead.”

Nicknamed The Huntly Hurricane, he has represented his country on 22 occasions, and was a member of the side which defeated Australia 34-20 in the 2008 World Cup Final.