ALBURY Thunder have beefed up their forward pack with English firebrand Brad Nicholson and Bombala workhorse Luke Ingram signing with the Group 9 club.
Nicholson is a former teammate of Thunder player Joe Lumb while Ingram was best on ground in Bombala’s recent Group 16 grand final win over Bega.
The 23-year-old Nicholson was handed an eight-match suspension playing for Keighley Cougars this year.
Coach Adrian Purtell said Nicholson and Ingram would complement Brad Hill, Trenten King, Matt Byatt, Reece Clegg and Cooper Hicks at Greenfield Park.
“We’re really happy with Brad and Luke,” coach Adrian Purtell said.
“They give us more strength up the middle and it’s a matter of getting some depth.
“We didn’t have the luxury of putting pressure on for positions last season and if we can bring in some quality it will bring the best out of players.”
The signing of Nicholson and Ingram comes only days after former premiership star Ben Jeffery confirmed he would be returning from Kangaroos.
Jon Huggett (overseas) and Joe Silafau (retired) have departed.
“We are in a great position compared to last year,” he said.
“We have a few in and a lot are staying.
“An outside back or two would be nice but we have some time.
“It feels a lot more comfortable already.”
Albury Thunder missed the finals for the third time in the past four seasons this year with Purtell desperate to stop the slide.
Meanwhile, Thunder will be out to put recent grand final disappointments behind them when they take on Brothers in Sunday’s LeagueTag grand final at Wagga.
Thunder have been beaten by their opponents in the last two deciders but hold a 2-1 advantage in head-to-head battles this season.
Coach Mark Daly has an abundance of firepower at this disposal with Jess McDonell, Molly Daly, Pani Rupapere and Isabella Barbaro in form.
Barbaro has scored 15 tries in 13 matches since joining the club and looks a huge threat.
The match starts at 11.30am.
In first grade, Southcity will start warm favourites against Gundagai when they play-off for the third year in a row.
The Bulls impressed in defeating Brothers 28-6 earlier in the finals.