Irish Cup star McCarthy signs for Northern Pride

SEA Swift Northern Pride has secured its biggest off-season signing to date, with Ireland World Cup star Tyrone McCarthy joining the club from UK Super League giants Warrington Wolves.


McCarthy, 25, was Irelands vice-captain during the current World Cup, earning rave reviews after scoring his countrys opening try against Fiji and impressing during last weekends defeat against Australia.


The backrower has amassed 50 UK Super League and Challenge Cup games since his Wolves debut in 2009, including scoring a try in Warringtons Challenge Cup Final win over Leeds last year.


Pride head coach Jason Demetriou, who played with McCarthy during his brief loan spell at Wakefield in 2011, said McCarthy was one of the clubs biggest ever signings.


Tyrones a guy who has played 50-odd games of Super League at one of the biggest clubs in England, Demetriou said.


When I was over in the UK, I was fortunate enough to watch him and play with him, and Im absolutely thrilled hes turned down the chance to stay in Super League for a new adventure at the Pride.


I think hes been one of the stars of the World Cup, and his defensive work in particular at the weekend against the Kangaroos was outstanding.


Im expecting a certain level of quality from him and hell offer real maturity and a strong voice to our current squad.


Hes a very good carrier of the ball with excellent footwork, and is strong and aggressive in everything he does.


Speaking from England, McCarthy, who will land in Cairns in early January to link up with the Pride, said he was really excited about the opportunity to come to far north Queensland.


I decided to leave my home town team, as I felt I needed to challenge myself in order to become a better player, he said.


And after speaking to Jason and seeing how the team has performed over the last year, I feel that the clubs environment will provide me with the best opportunity to do that.


Everyone back home talks about the Australian game and the high standard it is played at, and I wanted to test myself in a tough competition like the Intrust Super Cup.


I will be working hard in training, as I know I am not guaranteed a place in the team with the quality around, but hopefully I can get in there and get playing regularly.


I have ambitions to test myself in the NRL, but I know that in order to achieve that I have to give everything and be focused on being successful with Northern Pride.


I can't wait to get started and join the boys at training, as I am sure that more success will come the clubs way in 2014.


Demetriou said there was no reason why McCarthy could not follow the likes of fellow English imports James Graham, Gareth Ellis and the Burgess brothers as success stories in Australia.


The younger guys coming over from the UK have certainly found that playing over here can help their development, and that is whats attractive for Tyrone, said Demetriou.


Hes an ambitious man, and the kind of character we want around our club.


Pride fans will love his style of footy, and I have no doubt hell make a big impression as we go for the premiership in 2014.


Prides Intrust Super Cup squad will start preparations for next season when they meet at an induction day in Cairns this Saturday (November 16), before officially starting pre-season training next Monday (November 18).


It has been a busy week for the Northern Pride on the player front with the club also regaining the services of for Blake Leary and signing you guns Jack Svendsen and Pete Tognolini.


The full stories on these signing can be found on the Northern Pride website.