The Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks have today announced their biggest signing yet, completing contract negotiations with PNG international and former Queensland State of Origin representative Neville Costigan.
Costigan has signed a two-year deal and will make a formidable addition to the team in the club’s inaugural season in the Intrust Super Cup in 2015.
Having played State of Origin for Queensland and also six international games for Papua New Guinea, Costigan has extensive big game experience.
The North Queensland product has notched up almost 200 games in the NRL and Super League since he began his career at the Broncos in 2003.
As well as the Brisbane Broncos, Costigan played for the Canberra Raiders, the Newcastle Knights and the St George Illawarra Dragons with whom he won the NRL grand final in 2010.
He returns home to North Queensland after spending one season with the Hull Kingston Rovers in the English Super League and after some intricate contract negotiations to finalise his release.
“I am looking forward to a new challenge both on and off the field and I am thankful to Hull KR for the understanding and professionalism they have displayed in allowing me this opportunity to return to Queensland and play in the Intrust Super Cup,” Costigan said.
Securing Costigan’s signature is not only momentous for the club, but also for the Intrust Super Cup competition as a whole.
“Signing a player of Neville’s calibre will have a significant impact on our club as well as the entire competition because players like Neville excite the fans and raise the profile of the game in the region,” football operations manager Adrian Thomson said.
“A player of his standing not only bolsters our forward stocks on field but also contributes to our off-field success”.
Known for his steel in defence, Costigan began pre-season training with the club in November and has settled into Townsville with his partner Stevie.
Coach Kristian Woolf is confident the hard running forward will bring a robustness to the team.
“Neville is well respected in the playing group and he has a unique strength about him as a competitor,” Woolf said.
“He is a welcome addition to our team and I am sure he will impress when he takes to the field.”