Aussie prop Laffranchi signs for Saints

Saints new signing Anthony Laffranchi
Saints new signing Anthony Laffranchi

SAINTS have signed Australian forward Anthony Laffranchi on a two-year deal.

The 30-year-old, who can play at both second and front row, will join the club at the start of next season.

He has played in State of Origin games and international matches.

Despite appearing for Australia in the last World Cup he is an Italian passport holder and therefore does count towards Saints overseas quota.

Laffranchi said: “I’m excited about coming to England and to Super League to join the famous St Helens club.

“It will be good to play for Royce Simmons again who coached me in the West Tigers’ Grand Final winning side in 2005. 

“I very much like the St Helens brand of footy and am impressed by the young talent that they keep producing.”

Simmons added: “Anthony is a top class signing and will bring professionalism and experience, as well as talent, to the forward pack and to the club. I have no doubt that he will distinguish himself in Super League.”

Saints bosses moved quickly to secure Laffranchi’s signing into the wake of James Graham’s departure to the NRL.

Club chairman Eamonn McManus added: “We may be losing some players for next season but the fans can rest assured that we will be as strong, or stronger, next season as this.

“Anthony is a great addition for us, both positionally and in terms of experience. The fans should have no concerns that the squad for next season will grace our new stadium.”

Laffranchi made his NRL debut in 2001 for West Tigers and remained there for six seasons before signing for the Titans.

He’s played five times for Australia, four times for New South Wales and has made nearly 200 appearances in the NRL, scoring 50 tries.