Saint Soliola signs deal with Canberra Raiders

St Helen's Sia Soliola and Bradford Bull's  Adam Henry (right) during the First Utility Super League match at Langtree Park
St Helen's Sia Soliola and Bradford Bull's Adam Henry (right) during the First Utility Super League match at Langtree Park
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Fans’ favourite Sia Soliola is set to ring down the curtain on his Saints’ career.

The powerhouse forward this week signed a two-year deal with Canberra Raiders from 2015 and returns to the NRL after a five-season absence with the best wishes of his colleagues and friends at Langtree Park

Chief executive Mike Rush spoke for everyone at the club when he said: “Sia will be a real loss to the team.

“He is a very popular figure at the Saints both on and off the pitch and I have no doubt Canberra will benefit greatly from his experience and character.

“Sia made it clear earlier in the season he wanted to leave Langtree Park for family reasons and naturally we respect his wishes.

“We wish Sia and his family all the best for the future and we’re sure he will want to go out on a high, hopefully at the Grand Final in October.”

Canberra, who are currently struggling in the lower reaches of the NRL table, have also snapped up Hull KR hooker Josh Hodgson on a similar deal and yesterday Raiders chief executive Don Furner said: “Sia and Josh are fantastic signings for us and we believe their experience will be invaluable for our squad.”

Furner added: “Both are enjoying fantastic seasons in the English Super League and we look forward to them joining the Raiders for the pre-season.”

Sia made his NRL debut for the Sydney Roosters in 2005 before eventually joining Saints where to date he has made 110 appearances and scored 29 tries to date.

A New Zealand and Samoa international - playing for the latter in last year’s World Cup - he was named as the supporters’ player of the year in 2012.