St Helens sign forward Anthony Laffranchi

Anthony Laffranchi is tackled while playing for Gold Coast Titans
Laffranchi will return to Titans at the end of his playing career

St Helens have signed former Australia Test forward Anthony Laffranchi.

The 30-year-old will leave the Gold Coast Titans at the end of the season after agreeing a two-year deal with Saints, with an option for a third.

Laffranchi played four times for New South Wales in Origin and represented Australia in the 2008 World Cup.

He is thought to be the replacement for Tony Puletua, who is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with a move to Warrington.

Gold Coast managing director Michael Searle said the club was disappointed to lose Laffranchi but could not compete with the money that St Helens offered.

"We had a figure we could afford for 'Boof' and the club did its absolute best to retain him for a further two seasons," explained Searle.

Laffranchi denied he was swayed by the money, stating that he is making the move to England for lifestyle reasons.

"It was stressful," he said. "I call this club home now. The priority was to stay on the Gold Coast and it's a big move but at the end of the day we really haven't travelled too much as a family.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to take the family over to another country and see another part of the world and testing myself in another league.

"It wasn't a money situation. Yes, England offered more but it's all about the opportunity. [Money] eases the pain a little bit but it's a move I'm excited about."

At the end of his playing career, Laffranchi will return to the Titans in a development role, mentoring and coaching the club's younger players.

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