BIG-SPENDING Warrington’s capture of Man of Steel Brett Hodgson is further evidence that the Challenge Cup holders do not intend to rest on their laurels.

The Wolves, currently second in Engage Super League, confirmed one of rugby league’s worst-kept secrets when they announced the signing of the 32-year-old Australian on a two-year contract from 2011.

Thanks largely to the generosity of club owner and music promoter Simon Moran, Warrington were the biggest spenders in the winter, splashing out more than £300,000 on Richie Myler and Ryan Atkins and, in snapping up last year’s Super League player of the year, they have become the first club to announce a signing for next season.

Hodgson is expected to replace winger Chris Hicks on Warrington’s overseas quota next season and take over the full-back role from Richard Mathers, whose contract runs out in October and will not be renewed.

The former Wests Tigers skipper, who is currently sidelined with a thigh strain, decided to quit the Giants after they made it clear they were only prepared to offer him a new 12-month deal.

He has scored 260 points in 29 appearances since joining them from the Tigers 18 months ago and last year became only the fourth Australian to win the Man of Steel award.

Warrington’s former England boss Tony Smith, who coached Hodgson at Parramatta, admitted that sudden availability of the inspirational Huddersfield skipper was simply too good an opportunity to resist.

“I’m excited about the signing and surprised to get a chance for someone of his calibre to join us,” said Smith.

“Having coached Brett many years ago at Parramatta, I know his capabilities and his knowledge and how he is able to pass that on to young people.”