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Harlequins Rugby League have announced the signing of Australian centre Matt Gafa from Canberra Raiders.
The 27-year-old Gafa, who has played at Canberra since his professional debut in 1997, is a close friend of Quins captain Mark McLinden, with whom he played his junior rugby league.
?Matt is a great addition to the squad,? said coach Tony Rea. ?We have been keen to sign him for quite some time and I have been very impressed with his abilities in the short time that he has been with us.
?Mark McLinden spoke very highly about his abilities and we are looking forward to seeing Matt run out at the Twickenham Stoop.?
Gafa becomes the eighth new recruit for the former London Broncos club, who kick off the 2006 engage Super League season against St Helens at the Twickenham Stoop on February 11.
?There is a real buzz about the place,? said Gafa. ?I have been shown round the ground and the facilities and I have to say I am really impressed, it looks awesome.?
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Quins have also added to their squad Michael Worrincy, who is a product of the London development system but spent last season on loan to Hull. Worrincy, a second-row forward has played for the London Broncos Academy since the age of 16 and also represented the BARLA Great Britain Young Lions.
The second-rower played with three other London development players last season at Hull in the forms of Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook, who has joined the Harlequins senior squad, while Ade Adebisi has been loaned back to Hull FC for the 2006 Season, and Ian Lane who has committed himself to Harlequins Under 21 side for 2006.
Worrincy will be one of four London-born players, lining up in 2006, alongside Joe Mbu, Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Ian Lane.
Harlequins Coach Tony Rea said: ?Michael went well last year at Hull, and we are looking forward to working with him.
?We have been impressed with the effort and commitment that all our young players have put in to fight their way to becoming rugby league players, and I am sure Michael will be the same.
?The re-introduction of our Under 21 side will enable us to monitor our younger payers more closely. Whilst we were very happy with the work Hull (amongst others) have done, we now that we need to be looking after our own.?
Worrincy started his career at the Greenwich Admirals, before going on to captain the Broncos Academy side in 2004 and was selected to go on the BARLA U18 tour of Australia that same year.
Phil Jones, Harlequins Academy coach added: ?Michael is a great athlete who is strong and quick. We are very happy that two of the lads who went to Hull will be training with the first team in 2006.?
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Thanks to www.superleague.co.uk for this news.