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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 April 2006, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
Paul returns to league with Quins
Henry Paul in action for England during the recent Hong Kong Sevens
Paul has helped England to Sevens success of late
Dual international Henry Paul has made a dramatic return to rugby league after agreeing a two-and-a-half-year deal with Harlequins.

Paul has not played for Gloucester's union side since October, and was released from his Kingsholm contract.

The New Zealander left rugby league after winning the 2001 Super League Grand Final with Bradford Bulls, and won six England caps in union.

He is set to make his Quins debut against brother Robbie's Huddersfield.

"It's a big opportunity for me and I can't wait to get out there and play," Paul said.

It will be great to play against the old man again
Robbie Paul
"Quins have shown that they are a really professional outfit and I think the club has a very bright future.

"I've met twice with Ian Lenagan (Harlequins RL Chairman) and he outlined some impressive plans for Harlequins and I want to be a big part of that."

"To be lined up against Robbie (on Saturday) is just how the cards have fallen but what a way for me to start at Quins."

The brothers were the half-back pairing as Bradford beat Wigan 37-6 to win the 2001 Grand Final at Old Trafford.

Robbie, enjoying a renaissance at Huddersfield after quitting the Bulls, has tipped his brother to make an impact on his return to league.

"It's awesome," said Robbie. "It will be great to play against the old man again and hopefully I'll run circles around him.

Henry is a player of immense talent and he has nothing to prove to anyone
Quins coach Tony Rea
"He's so stubborn, even if he doesn't have his fitness he will tell himself he has. He is built for this game of rugby league.

"That's why he has done so well on the Sevens circuit. There is a lot of space unlike the normal rugby union game where you lie so flat. It's in your face.

"It never leaves you but hopefully it won't come back for him in time for this weekend."

Quins coach Tony Rea is delighted to have secured Paul's services, with Australian NRL side Penrith Panthers also keen to take him back to league.

1974: Born in Tokorua, NZ
1993: Tours UK with Jnr Kiwis
Stays on to play for Wakefield
1994-98: Wigan, 147apps, 550pts; Wins Challenge Cup, Premiership, Regal Trophy
1995: NZ Test debut. 24 caps
1998-2001: Bradford; MoM in Challenge Cup win 2000
2001: Switches to union;
95 apps for Gloucs, 702 pts
2002: England debut v France; 6 full caps, 7 'A' caps
2006: Returns to league
"Henry is a player of immense talent and he has nothing to prove to anyone," Rea said. "He is here to play because that's what he does best.

"He was by far the most dominant player in Super League before joining the England rugby union squad. It's great for our sport to have him back and here in Twickenham."

Paul, 32, was suspended by Gloucester after missing three days' training following Mike Tindall's birthday party.

His contract was due to run until June 2007, but Gloucester head coach Dean Ryan was happy to release Paul.

"On behalf of Gloucester I would like to wish every success for his future and thank him for the contribution he has made to the team," Ryan said.

"He always gave his utmost and I am sure he will be a great success at Harlequins."

Since falling out of favour at Kingsolm, Paul has spent the last six months with England on the Sevens circuit, also helping them win a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games.

"He really caught my eye in the Hong Kong Sevens," Rea added. "He is a natural talent with a great ability to handle high pressure situations.

"All the talk over there was about other players like Mathew Tait but the biggest play, and under pressure, came from Henry Paul."

England victorious in Hong Kong
02 Apr 06 |  Rugby Union
England miss out on sevens gold
17 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games


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