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Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Monday, 11 October 2010 11:31 UK

Leeds Rhinos sign Australian prop Ben Cross

Ben Cross
Cross will link up with Leeds in time for pre-season training

Leeds Rhinos have signed prop Ben Cross from Australian NRL side Newcastle Knights on a two-year deal.

The 31-year-old will join in time for pre-season training after being released from the final year of his contract with the Knights.

Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington told BBC Radio Leeds: "We're delighted with the signing of Ben.

"He was our number one target and is an outstanding player. He is a great leader who is vastly experienced."

Cross said of his move: "The opportunity to play in the northern hemisphere in Super League is something I've always wanted to do in my career.

"And to get to play for a club like Leeds is just tremendous. They are well renowned with all their success in recent years. It's just unreal."

Cross, who is a former Grand Final winner with Melbourne Storm, was recommended by Rhinos hooker and former Knights team-mate Danny Buderus.

Hetherington added: "He's played State of Origin rugby and was close to being selected for the Australian national team.

"Ben will bring a lot of qualities to the Rhinos. You sign the very best players that you can, and he fits the bill."

Cross made his debut in the NRL with Canberra Raiders in 2003 and twice represented New South Wales in 2008.

He was named in Australia's preliminary squad for the 2008 World Cup but missed out on the final selection.

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