RUGBY LEAGUE: Falcons CEO Chris Flannery has revealed the club's assistant coach helped convince NRL grand final-winning prop Scott Anderson to reconsider retirement and take up a two-year contract on the Sunshine Coast.
In a move set to add some serious firepower to the Falcons forward pack, the former Melbourne Storm, Brisbane Broncos and Wakefield (Super League) hard man will don the gold and black in 2017.
"We are very excited about securing his services for the next two years,” coach Craig Ingebrigtsen said.
His 150-game career, which included Melbourne's 2009 grand final victory over Parramatta, looked to be over when he announced his retirement from the game in early September.
But after some speculation for the past few weeks as to who the Falcons' last major off-season signing would be, Flannery yesterday announced Anderson would return to play in the Intrust Super Cup.
And he revealed Ingebrigtsen's right-hand man played some part in luring the 107kg giant to Bokarina.
"Ben King, who is our assistant, knew Scott from the Gold Coast and they had a couple of chats,” Flannery said.
"There was a couple of other ISC teams interested but we were lucky enough to secure his services.”
Anderson isn't expected to arrive at pre-season training until after the Christmas break, as he prepares to leave England after two seasons. His signing is another boost to the Falcons pack, which has already picked up ex-NRL forward Dane Hogan and young-gun Harrison Muller.
They will join the likes of incumbents Tom Geraghty and Martin Cordwell.
Ingebrigtsen said it was a move in the right direction for his side, which had seen plenty of forward-pack movement during the off-season.
"To sign someone of Scott's calibre to the Falcons is a real coup for us and shows that we are heading in the right direction,” Ingebrigtsen said.
"It's not every day that a front-rower with over 150 first grade games and an NRL premiership comes onto the market.”
Flannery also announced the Falcons' major sponsors for the past two years, Vantage Homes, had extended its deal.
"History tells us that the vast majority of clubs who are successful on the field have a very solid and stable back office and that is something that we have worked very hard to create over the past few years,” Flannery said.
"We have some fantastic long-term sponsors at the Falcons club and our sponsors' retention rate is over 90% as we head into the 2017 season which indicates that our corporate sponsors view their involvement with the Falcons as a great investment.”
The Falcons are one of few clubs in the Intrust Super Cup without the financial backing of a leagues club.
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