PGRFC are delighted to announce the signing of former Super League star Ian Sibbit. Ian, who has just turned 32, joins Hoppers after announcing his retirement from the professional game at the end of the last Super League season having completed 14 seasons in the professional game.
During his time in Rugby League, Ian made over 200 career club appearances scoring over 40 tries and made three appearances for England “A” in the 2003 European Nations Championship. He started his club career with Warrington before being signed by the Australian giants Melbourne Storm for the 2002 NRL season. He returned to England to rejoin Warrington before moving onto Salford where he spent 6 seasons. The last two years have been spent with the Bradford Bulls but injuries were to hamper his final season at Odsal as the club battled for financial survival.
Now happily recovered from a broken arm sustained in June whilst playing for the Bulls, Ian has switched codes to link up with former Salford team mate Karl Fitzpatrick and his friend and new team mate Sean Long. Outside of the game Ian has taken a position as a personal trainer with M1 Health based at the Marriott Hotel in Worsley.
Speaking on his decision to call time on his rugby league career Ian said “Taking the position with M1 Health and playing with Hoppers is a totally new challenge for me. Maybe what went on at Bradford last season did push me towards retirement from full time rugby. It wasn’t a pleasant time last season with the Bulls but I am glad that the club has survived. I am sure what I have learned over the years in a full time rugby environment will be very beneficial in my new career whilst I am also looking forward to linking up with Fitzy again and playing for Hoppers.”
On behalf of the club, Director of Rugby Gareth Dyer commented “Ian has been a full time rugby league player for 14 years and was known throughout Super League as a fantastic athlete and professional. He has played at arguably the best rugby league team in the world during his time with the Melbourne Storm and his experience and knowledge will be invaluable to both the players and the coaching team. Having just finished the Super League season and having fully recovered from injury he is now in tip top condition and made an impressive start to his Hoppers career last week in the big 2nd XV win over Stockport.
At 6’4 and 105kg he is certainly going to provide us some size and power. As a squad we are working hard on improving our defensive record whilst at the same time we like to keep the ball in hand. I would expect that Ian will contribute to both aspects very well. Ian is a fantastic bloke and has been a popular member of his previous Super League clubs. With only being 32 he has potentially a long career in front of him at Hoppers and we are looking forward to him getting involved”.