Friend signs with Coast

Melbourne back-up hooker Nathan Friend has signed a two year deal with the Gold Coast from 2007, becoming the seventh player to link with the new NRL franchise.

The announcement came barely 24 hours after Parramatta utility player Luke O'Dwyer also signed on with the Queensland team for 2007-08.

Melbourne football manager Peter O'Sullivan says Toowoomba-raised Friend became frustrated with his limited chances behind Queensland Origin hooker Cameron Smith. The Gold Coast - which will debut in 2007 - has also signed Penrith pivot Preston Campbell, Dragons and Test prop Luke Bailey, British winger Brian Carney, Wests Tigers' Anthony Laffranchi and Parramatta flyer Matt Petersen to date.