French international agrees to terms with Ghosts
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Grafton Ghosts playing stocks have been given another major boost for the 2017 Group 2 season with the addition of another former NRL star.
Former French international Clint Greenshields has agreed to terms with the Ghosts as he honours a promise to close friend Danny Wicks.
Greenshields attended Wicks' wedding in September, when the newlywed suggested the pair reunite on the field once he decided to retire from the NRL and move back home. The 34-year-old did not quite expect Wicks' decision to come so soon.
The Sawtell Panthers junior and Wicks were roommates while playing first grade side-by-side at St George Illawarra Dragons in 2006 before the crafty fullback made his way to Super League club Catalans Dragons for six seasons.
Greenshields holds the record for most tries in Catalans colours and the most capped international player at the club. He was also named at fullback in their team of the decade earlier this year as part of the club's 10th anniversary celebrations.
He returned to the NRL for a one-year stint at North Queensland Cowboys in 2013, when he stood in for six matches for an injured Matt Bowen. But since retiring from the top flight at the end of that season he has not laced a football boot, instead focusing on building his life after league.
"I haven't really missed footy that much, I have had so much to focus on off the field," Greenshields said.
"I have watched maybe two or three local footy games in the last four years, so I really don't know what to expect."
It was not until Greenshields got involved in a State League touch football side with his sister that he realised how much he missed being part of a team.
"I am looking forward to being around teammates again and having that dressing room camaraderie," he said.
Greenshields also hopes to put time into the Ghosts Under 18s ranks as he looks to foster the junior ranks on and off the field.
"I got to play the better part of a decade in the best competitions around the world," he said.
"I want to give as much of that knowledge and experience to the younger blokes."
Greenshields is expected to replace Jayden Connors in the halves who is understood to have moved to Rockhampton.
The utility will work as a backline coach alongside Wicks in the forwards, who rates his new teammate "very highly".
"He is an international representative," Wicks said. "Does it get much higher than that? He is honestly the man. I have known him a long time and I know what he can do.
"He will be close to the best player in the group next season. It is a massive pick up for the Ghosts club."