Sherwood Wolf Hunt RLFC have enlisted the help of an Australian international hooker for the coming season.
Fabian Wikander, who is Australian-born but is captain of the Swedish interational side due to his parents being from the Scandinavian country, will be helping the club both on and off the pitch as it continues to develop and improve.
One of his main briefs is to help develop young rugby league players of the future with the hope of being able to pass them on to Super League or National Rugby League clubs to continue their development.
Co- chairman Adam Bates said: “This is a really exciting prospect for both the club and Fabian.
“Fabian has come over to help develop the club, as well as play and work, and is helping already on and off of the pitch. He brings lots of experience and skill and is already settling into the Hunt for success.
“We have a great ethos of hard team work and fun here. They go hand in hand in rugby league and as a rugby player and qualified welder, Fabian fits perfectly into that ethos.’. He has found a job straight away and is settling into life in Nottinghamshire.
“For us, this is as much about us planning for the future with our vision of having a North Notts player playing for England in the World Cup in the next ten years.”
Wikander grew up in Brisbane, playing his junior rugby there, and then moved to Cairns n Queensland where he captained Brothers Rugby League as a young man, playing with several current NRL and Super League stars as a junior.
He moved to Sweden in 2009 to play his rugby there and find his roots, his parents having moved to Australia before he was born. He set up Sodertalje Storm RL Club in 2014 and became national team captain in the same year.
He said: “I love rugby league. I grew up in tough areas in Queensland and rugby is the way to toughen yourself up in those areas.
“Having spent some time in Sweden, I have always wanted to play in the UK and having had a few clubs from London, the North and the Midlands approach me, I chose the Wolf Hunt. I see an exciting future for this club and I want to be part of that development.
“They have it right here. It’s all about the love of playing rugby league, developing young players rather than buying in players as has happened elsewhere, and most of all bringing the best out of everyone involved.
“I know how difficult it is to start a club and what they’ve done here is nothing short of miraculous in such a short space of time. That’s down to hard graft and making it enjoyable for the people involved.”
The Wolf Hunt have played four games thus far with two wins and two defeats. They host Leicester Storm this weekend at Victoria Gardens.