Manly duo Luke Burgess and Feleti Mateo have signed for Super League club Salford and will link up with their new teammates early next week.
Burgess, who started his career with Leeds, returns home from Sydney having spent six years in the NRL with South Sydney and the Sea Eagles.
Both players have been signed initially for the Super 8s, which start on the first weekend of August, and could potentially become permanent signings.
“We are bringing in a couple of great players as insurance. You can’t risk going into the 8s and picking up a couple of injuries and finding yourself relegated,” said former Kangaroos and Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens, who is Salford’s director of rugby.
“We are looking to get the guys over this weekend or certainly early next week to get them prepared for our first game of the qualifiers.”
The duo’s arrival will augment a Salford roster that is packed with former NRL players including Robert Lui, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Daniel Vidot, Junior Sau and Justin Carney.
Red Devils coach Ian Watson believes the mercurial Mateo and former England prop Burgess will be able to make a big impact for his side in the business end of the season.
“Feleti is a great addition to our squad, he comes with a wealth of experience at the highest level, and will be able to bring that into the 8s,” said Watson.
“Our guys have really stood up during the regular season and bringing in players of Luke’s quality will give everybody a boost at this stage.
“We have been monitoring him since before the season and are delighted to be bringing him to the AJ Bell Stadium.
“We have been a top six team on our performances and we have to go out and get through a tough middle 8s making sure our play is up to the same standard. Luke will add to our squad and cause our opponents problems.”