Doncaster RLFC: Hall ‘grinning like Cheshire cat’ after landing Papua New Guinea pair

Makali Aizue
Makali Aizue
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Dons chief executive Carl Hall has spoken of his delight at landing Papua New Guinea pair Makali Aizue and Jason Tali.

Powerful forward Aizue, 37, adds a wealth of experience after joining from Dewsbury Rams.

His countryman Tali, a 28-year-old centre, has also made the move to the Keepmoat Stadium from League One rivals Newcastle Thunder.

“I just went home the other day [after signing them] and was sat at my bar grinning like a Cheshire cat, because it really cements what we’re trying to do here,” said Hall.

“That’s the sort of calibre of player we’re attracting to the club.

“I’m over the moon.

“It’s been a bit of a battle. I’ve been over to Hull three times and each time I thought I was going to get the contract signed. I’ve been up and down, a bit like a rollercoaster, trying to get Makali to sign and it’s great to get him.

“He’s still doing the damage in the Championship and we need a bit of experience in the forwards.

“Just by talking to him, he wants to come and help the young guys and lead the way.

“I’ve got the utmost respect for Glenn Morrison and Mark Sawyer at Dewsbury because they did as much hard work as I did in getting Makali to come here.

“There were a heap of clubs in for him so for us to get someone like him down here is fantastic. I think he’ll become a crowd favourite.

He added: “I went over to Hull to get him and I ended up getting Jason Tali as well, which made me really happy.

“Jason’s a current Papua New Guniea centre and is a class player. He’s got a lot of skill about him.

“And what we all know about these PNG boys, whether they play in the forwards or in the backs, they’ve all got plenty of power. They’re all solid boys.

“I do think the fans will be delighted.”

Aizue spent four years at Hull KR and represented Papua New Guinea at the 2008 World Cup.

Head coach Gary Thornton said: “His no-nonsense style and aggressive running will give us the go forward momentum, get us on the front foot and help our pivots and nines to play the way we want to play.

“It gives us a real aggressive look about our pack and I am delighted he has decided to join us.”

Tali represented his country at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

He scored 14 tries in 13 appearances for Thunder last season.

Thornton said: “This is a massive signing for our club.

“As a current Papua New Guinea international, his experience of playing in a World Cup will be invaluable to our younger players.

“He’s a proven try scorer.”