Daryl Powell has revealed that Wakefield Trinity’s newest signing, 24-year-old prop forward Caleb Uele, who has been capped by New Zealand at the under 18s level in fact has ambitions to represent England.
It’s a surprise revelation that Powell has seemingly let slip when talking at the Championship club’s kit launch for their new away shirt, however it’s certainly an interesting proposition given the highlight reel that the 24-year-old has put together so far down under.
Uele was announced as having signed for Trinity last Friday with the club confirming that the Auckland-born prop had signed on a one-year deal with an option for a second year included in the contract.
Of course Wakefield have high ambitions this season, fuelled by new owner Matt Ellis and signified by the appointment of coaching staff such as Daryl Powell, and if it clicks for Trinity and Uele this season then you would assume that the second year option would see the prop playing for Trin in Super League.
At the time of his signing Powell explained: “Caleb is a big, physical front rower who we feel is a perfect fit for what we need in our middle unit for next season.
“Having spoken to him, he is driven to be the very best he can be, which is what I want from every player at the club. He has great leg-speed for a big man and is also a physical front foot defender.
“I am looking forward to getting him to the UK quickly so he can get stuck into our pre-season.”
The news of Uele’s ambition to play for England came when Trinity released footage of an interview conducted with Powell at the club’s away shirt launch, hosted on Sunday, the interview released on the club’s Youtube channel.
Asked about the newest recruit, Powell said: “I’ve watched a fair bit of him from his time in Australia. He’s a young front-rower, great leg speed, he’s a big boy.
“He’s 120kg at the moment so we talked about getting a little bit more size into our middle, but he’s also got good leg speed and he’s a pretty aggressive defender so he’s coming over here to prove himself.”
Powell then made the surprise revelation about Uele: “He says he wants to play for England. Heritage-wise, he fits there, so it’ll be interesting to get him over next week or so and get him into training. I’m really excited about that signing.”
It will certainly be interesting to see how Uele gets on in the Championship for Trinity with a view to watch him in Super League should Trin earn promotion.
Shaun Wane has already shown that he’s happy to utilise players born outside of England providing they have the heritage, as seen with loose forward Victor Radley, so tracking the progress of Uele could be an interesting one for English fans.