St Helens have welcomed Willie Talau to Knowsley Road, with the former Canterbury Bulldogs centre arriving in the UK on Thursday. Talau was released by the Bulldogs earlier this week to link up with Saints earlier than initially planned, having signed a three-year contract which would have begun in 2004.
He will provide vital relief for the injury hit reigning Tetley's Rugby Super League champions, and could even make his debut in Sunday's visit to Hull.
"Willie will definitely play against Widnes, but we'll have to have a look and see how he feels in the next couple of days and how his sleeping patterns settle down," said coach Ian Millward.
"It's not easy coming over at just a couple of days notice."
Talau, 27, was introduced to his new colleagues and the media on Thursday at Knowsley Road, and he was impressed by his first taste of life at the club.
"Saints have a very professional set-up here, very similar to the Bulldogs in fact," he said. "I'm looking forward to playing with a club that has such a winning culture."
Talau has been handed the number 32 jersey for the remainder of 2003.