Joel Edwards joins Thunder

Newcastle Thunder have secured the services of accomplished NRL forward Joel Edwards for the remainder of 2019, as the club strengthen their options for the second half of the season.

The 30-year-old back row brings experience from 107 first-grade games in the southern hemisphere’s premier competition with stints at Canberra Raiders, Newcastle Knights and West Tigers.

A powerful player in both attack and defence, Thunder fans can look forward to seeing hard-hitting tackles, strong running and an excellent offloading game from a player who also has experience of playing at the top end of Betfred League 1

He was part of the York City Knights team that earned promotion to the Betfred Championship as champions in 2018 and has also played in France’s Elite One Championship with Limoux Grizzlies.

Though primarily a back-rower, Edwards can also fill in at front row and loose forward, bringing vital versatility to complement his skills and experience.

Arriving in North East later this week, the player will have an opportunity to adjust to his new club and get to know his teammates before heading into the action as a Thunder player.

Thunder head coach Simon Finnigan said: “We’ve done our homework on him, he had a good stint at York and they speak very highly of him. I’m pretty happy with our squad but Joel will be a good addition to our middle unit.

“He’ll come in and add more competition for places and will have to fight for his spot like the rest of them.

“He is a good pro, and has NRL experience so we’d expect him to come in and keep them standards. He is a very good defender and consistent in a lot of actions, which is something that our middles are good at as well so he is joining a pretty good company.”