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Wigan sign Welsh trio

Wigan Warriors confirm the signings of Wales Internationals Ben Flower and Gil Dudson on two year contracts for 2012 and 2013 with an option for 2014.
Wigan sign Welsh trio
by NRL

Wigan Warriors confirm the signings of Wales Internationals Ben Flower and Gil Dudson on two year contracts for 2012 and 2013 with an option for 2014. Both Flower and Dudson are former players with Crusaders Rugby League.

Flower, 24, is a strong running back row forward who has made 65 appearances for the Crusaders scoring four tries having captained his country in 2009. Flower is Cardiff born and started his Rugby League career in 2007 with the Crusaders Colts side. He has also represented Wales Rugby Union at Under 17, 18, 19 and 20's level and joined the Crusaders from Welsh Premiership Rugby Union side Bedwas RFC.

Dudson, 21, is a powerful young prop forward with lots of potential. He has been the stand out performer in Wales' 4 Nations campaign after making 13 appearances for the Crusaders in Super League during 2011. He also spent time in 2010 playing for the South Wales Scorpions where he was rewarded for some impressive performances in the Championship One Team of the Year. Dudson has previously played for Newport Titans (Rugby League) and Rugby Union side Newport Gwent Dragons at junior levels; he has also represented Wales Rugby League at Under 18s.

Speaking about the additions to the squad, Head Coach Shaun Wane said:

"I am delighted to welcome Ben and Gil to the Club and am looking forward to working with them in pre-season. Iestyn has played a big part in these signings and is full of praise for their commitment and honesty as players."

Warriors Assistant Coach Iestyn Harris added:

"I obviously know Ben and Gil extremely well from the Crusaders and had no hesitation in selecting them for the Wales National Side. Both are quality players who will add strength in depth to the Wigan squad. The pair work incredibly hard and have a willingness to learn and I'm sure have big futures ahead of them at Super League level."

Dudson is delighted to be joining Wigan, stating:

"I am pleased with my form during the 4 Nations but understand that I need to continue working hard. Both me and Ben can't wait to link up with the Warriors and are really looking forward to working under Shaun (Wane) and Iestyn (Harris), as well as Mark Bitcon and the other coaching staff at the Club.

"Having grown up in South Wales we are fully aware of Wigan and what is required to succeed there. They are a massive club and it will be a dream come true to train with such a talented squad and hopefully pull on the famous cherry and white shirt."

Flower added:

"Wigan are a tremendous Club with fantastic facilities and for me to be part of this is a great honour. When you talk to people about Wigan they recognise them as the number one side and I am really looking forward to putting on the Cherry and White shirt. Iestyn Harris has been a big influence on my career at both Club and International level and I am delighted to continue to work with him and with Shaun Wane and the rest of the backroom staff."

The Wigan Club also confirms the signing of highly respected young Centre Rhodri Lloyd, 18, on an initial 2-year contract. Lloyd had been playing for South Wales Scorpions and became the youngest player to represent the Welsh National team in a full international recently. He also captained the Wales U18 side that defeated England Community Lions 29-28 last weekend, scoring two tries during the game.

Chairman Ian Lenagan added:

"We are delighted to have been able to attract Rhodri to the Club. He is a fantastic talent with a great physique who, with hard work, could become a very good player for us.

"The signing is evident of the player pathway that we are developing in conjunction with Wales Rugby League and we have high hopes that Rhodri will go on to represent the Welsh National Team."

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