Warrington Wolves have announced a double signing from Widnes Vikings of centres Anthony Gelling and Keanan Brand.
Auckland-born Gelling, 28, has agreed a two-year contract until November 2021. His Super League career to date has seen him pull on the cherry and white jersey of Wigan between 2012 and 2017 making over 100 appearances; in that time he lifted the Grand Final trophy in 2016 with a win over Warrington, followed by a World Club Series victory over Cronulla Sharks.
In 2018 he made the move over to the NRL, with the New Zealand Warriors, but returned to the English game the following year signing for the Widnes Vikings with whom he spent last season.
His international career has seen him represent the Cook Islands.
Brand, 20, has signed a three-year deal until November 2022. He began his Rugby League career with Wigan St Patricks before joining the Widnes Scholarship programme as a teenager. He progressed through to the club’s academy making his Super League debut for the Vikings in 2018. And 2019 saw him shortlisted for the Championship young player of the year award.
His international career to date has seen him represent the England Academy side.
Warrington Wolves Head coach Steve Price said: “Both players will give us depth to our squad. Anthony comes to us after previously playing in the NRL, he comes on good recommendations from people that I trust. He is a big, athletic, strong centre, who carries the ball well and has a sound knowledge of the game. He comes to us with previous Grand Final and World Club Challenge winning experience. He is a big personality and it will be great to have him around the team.
“Keanan is a young player with a lot of potential. He was named the Vikings’ players’ player of the year. He is a centre who is also capable of playing wing and has the ability to beat people with ball in hand but is also strong in defence. He has a bright future ahead of him and I am looking forward to working with him and developing his game.
“Our main focus going forward now is a tough pre-season, getting both boys working extremely hard and in top physical condition for 2020. I am a big believer that the amount of hard work you put into your pre-season will be rewarded in season.”
On signing for Warrington Gelling added: “It’s good that it can finally be released. I’ve always liked playing here; even when I was at Wigan, this was one of my favourite stadiums to come to. To now call this my home ground and to play here every week will be awesome. To link up with some of my old Wigan buddies in Jack Hughes and Charners too was one of the key factors in signing here. Hopefully the Warrington guys get behind me and we can have some fun. I’m hoping to come in as the big saviour; hopefully we will do it next year and break the curse.”
Brand said: “Signing for Warrington means the world to me. I think I needed time in the Championship to get regular games against grown men and get used to the physicality of the game. I had a good pre-season this year, better than I thought, ended up starting and kept my place in the team. It’s all grown from there. I have had a taste of Super League opposition in the Challenge Cup and I think I am ready now. I don’t want to be that young player anymore, I want to be a full member of the first team, go in hard and see where that gets me. One of the main reasons I signed here at Warrington was for the opportunity to win trophies. That’s what every player wants to do in their career.”
Read more at https://warringtonwolves.com/gelling-and-brand-sign-up-to-the-wire/#l5GVXW8qqCSrrtq0.99