Widnes Vikings have confirmed the signing of back-rower Chris Houston from Newcastle Knights.
The 30 year-old, who also played for St George Illawara Dragons in the NRL, has agreed a two-year deal with Vikings.
Houston, who made 176 appearances in the NRL, has already travelled to Widnes to meet his new team mates while he negotiated an early release from his Knights contract.
“I’ve loved my time in the NRL but I wanted a new challenge,” he told the club’s website. “I’ve been speaking to James (Rule) and Denis (Betts) for the past few weeks and last week I came over to the UK to meet all the people involved with the club.”
“I wanted to come and meet Denis and the boys and get a feel for the club before I committed my future to the Vikings. In the end it wasn’t a hard decision to sign here after learning about the Club’s culture and values and seeing the fantastic facilities at the club,” Houston added.
In 2011 Houston played in for Country in the annual City v Country Origin match and was named as the 18th man for New South Wales in Game 3 of the 2009 State of Origin Series.
Vikings Head Coach Denis Betts said: “Chris has got a fantastic pedigree, he’s a quality player and will bring great leadership skills. We’re really looking forward to bringing him over and having him as part of the squad in our pursuit of success.
“People will think that because we’ve signed a back-rower, he is here to replace Danny Galea, but we were already pursuing Chris before Danny’s spot became available.”