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Page last updated at 13:48 GMT, Monday, 19 July 2010 14:48 UK

Wigan Warriors sign Melbourne Storm trio

Ryan Hoffman
Ryan Hoffman has won four caps for Australia

Wigan coach Michael Maguire has raided his former club Melbourne Storm to sign three players for next season.

Australian second row Ryan Hoffman has agreed a one-year contract, with the option of a second year.

Half-back Brett Finch has signed a two-year deal, while New Zealand prop Jeff Lima will be on a three-year contract.

"We're lucky enough to get three quality players and they'll be a great fit to the club," Maguire told BBC Radio Manchester.

"They've been living for five years in a winning culture.

"Hopefully we can bring that across and just get the consistency in performance."

The trio, who all played in Melbourne's 19-10 World Club Challenge victory against Leeds at Headingley in February, are being off-loaded as part of a major clear-out at the Storm as they try to get under the salary cap for next season.

We did try to get some English-born players a few months ago but the prices are very high

Wigan chairman Ian Lenegan

In April the Storm were stripped of two championships in Australia's National Rugby League for breaching the competition's strict salary cap rules.

The Victoria club were found to have spent A$1.6m (£960,541) above the set limit over the course of five years.

Maguire has given Wigan's youngsters their head this season, to guide the club to the top of the Super League table.

But the former Melbourne assistant coach believes the new signings will add some extra winning mentality.

And chairman Ian Lenegan insists that youth policy will not change, despite signing three overseas players.

"I reject totally the accusation that Wigan are concentrating on overseas players," said Lenegan. "We're not.


"Our policy is clear, we want at least two thirds of the team to come from Wigan."

The Warriors now have one place left on their overseas quota to fill for Lenegan, who admits that he believes players in England are too expensive.

"We did try to get some English-born players a few months ago," said Lenegan. "But the prices are very high.

"You never say never, because something pops up and we've got that quota spot available."

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