Calland comes in for 2018

Newcastle Thunder have strengthened their back line options for 2018 with the signing of Ben Calland from Corrimal Cougars.

The younger brother of former Bradford centre Matt, Calland arrives at Thunder having spent two years in Australia and creating a strong reputation for his attitude and playing style.

A former Wigan and Salford U19 Calland, who began playing the sport at Haydock Warriors ARLFC aged six, is predominantly a centre but can also play at back row, making him a versatile addition to the squad.

Having already made the move to the North East and been part of pre-season from the get-go, Calland is targeting a strong winter in order to make an impact when the League 1 action gets underway.

He said: “My brother Matt sold me on how good a setup it is here and it really is a clubs with great facilities and great aspirations.

“I want to put in a good pre-season so when the season rolls around I can produce the footy I know I am capable of. The squad looks strong and I’m looking forward to adding to that in 2018. I’m excited to see just how far we can go.”

Thunder head coach Jason Payne said: “I’m delighted we have signed Ben for the upcoming season, he is a big powerful player who has equal capabilities of playing in the centres or the back row.

“Right from the first time we met Ben, we knew we wanted him here. He is a good person with a real passion for the game. He is solid with his defence, which he does hard and aggressively and makes him exactly the type of player we were looking to recruit.

“Ben has picked up a wealth of experience during his time in Australia where he has been for the last two years. He has developed a real name for himself in the way he plays and I’m excited for him to bring that to Thunder and have a huge year.”