St Helens have completed a deal with Gold Coast Titans that will see second rower Joe Greenwood move to the NRL in exchange for former Catalans Dragons back rower Zeb Taia.

The 23-year-old Greenwood, who is in England coach Wayne Bennett’s 31-strong elite training squad ahead of the end-of-season World Cup, has made 77 appearances for Saints since making his debut against his hometown club Oldham in 2012.

Saints coach Keiron Cunningham said: “We wouldn’t want to stand in the way of any player wishing to ply their trade elsewhere and Joe has been given a good opportunity at the Gold Coast.

“It’s always difficult to lose a homegrown player and personally I will be sad to see him leave. I’ve worked hard with Joe to develop his game and help him grow as a person and he has done just that.

“Hopefully, one day after a successful NRL career, he will pull on the Red V again.”

The loss of Greenwood has been offset by the signing of Taia, 32, on a contract that runs to the end of the 2019 season.

Taia played for Parramatta and Newcastle before moving to Betfred Super League in 2013 with the Catalans, for whom he scored 35 tries in 75 appearances.
Zeb Taia
Taia, who captained the Cook Islands in the 2013 World Cup after switching his allegiance from New Zealand, was named in the 2015 Super League Dream Team before opting to return to NRL with the Titans.

Cunningham said: “We’re delighted to have signed a player of Zeb’s calibre and he will bolster our squad immediately.

“He is powerful, possesses a great offload and like our other signings this season, will bring big-game experience to the Saints.”