HUDDERSFIELD Rugby Union Club have signed former American international Luke Gross.
And even though the giant lock, who has played in two World Cups as well as the English Premiership, won’t be available until October because of injury, coach Mark Sowerby is delighted by his first capture since leading the club into National III North.
“It’s a shame Luke won’t be available from the outset,” said Sowerby, whose side kick off their first-ever campaign in national rugby away to Fylde in a fortnight.
“But he’ll be worth waiting for, because he is a quality player with bags of experience who will teach our younger lads a lot.”
Gross, who is recovering from a shoulder problem, had planned to retire after calling time at his most recent club, Doncaster Knights.
But the 38-year-old, who weighs in at more than 19st and stretches the tape to 6ft 9in, had a change of heart – and Huddersfield were quick to act.
Born in Indiana, Gross was a talented basketball player as a youth, which many say is reflected in his ball handling skills.
He took up rugby at college in West Virginia and started playing for the Cincinnati Wolfhounds club, making his US debut against Ireland in 1996.
He moved to Harlequins that year, and after spells in Italy with Rovigo and Roma, signed for Llanelli, where he beefed up a pack featuring Wales and Lions ace Scott Quinnell.
Gross later played for Rotherham and Newcastle Falcons before joining Doncaster.
Huddersfield were in friendly action at Beverley today and visit Chester next Saturday.