SOUTH Sydney Rabbitohs have confirmed they have agreed a deal to sign Wigan prop Jeff Lima.
The 29-year-old joined the Warriors in 2011, going on to win the Lance Todd Trophy as Wigan lifted the Challenge Cup.
However the New Zealand international will now return to the NRL for the 2013 and 2014 seasons - with Lima having had previous spells at the Wests Tigers and Melbourne Storm.
And Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire, who worked with Lima at Wigan, said: “Jeff has been a very consistent performer right throughout his career and will bring a wealth of experience to our club next season.
“He has a great work ethic, is professional in the way he conducts himself around training and in his preparation to play, and has been a high level performer week-in and week-out since I’ve been working with him.
“His experience will help the youth in our squad, he’s a big addition to our team and will help to further strengthen our forward pack.”
Meanwhile, Lima has warned Wigan’s two recent victories over St Helens will count for nothing this Sunday.
The Warriors took the bragging rights in the first derby at Langtree Park on Good Friday.
And they maintained Shaun Wane’s 100 per cent success rate in the fixture by winning in the Challenge Cup quarter-final just two weeks ago. Those results have made the league leaders the big favourites for Sunday’s headlining Magic game at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium.
But other than giving Saints more ammunition to succeed, Lima reckons they will have little influence on this weekend’s outcome. The Kiwi enforcer said: “Those two games are nothing now, as far as I’m concerned.
“They’re history, it’s in the past.
“They’re going to bring a strong side and you can never sit back and watch them play, you have to turn up with your best game.
“Saints will be coming at us to prove a point, and we have to be ready for that.” Lima, who joined ahead of last season from Melbourne, has quickly learned about the intense rivalry between the two clubs.
He celebrated a rare touchdown on Good Friday in front of the home fans.
“I’m getting into the hang of the Wigan-Saints derbies and I’m enjoying them,” he said.
“The emotions in those games, it shows how much it means to the Wigan boys and if I can help them win, then great.
“I’m looking forward to the game at the Magic weekend. I like the idea, it’s the chance for the fans to watch some good footy in the same place.”
SHAUN Wane has allowed teenage full-back Matt Russell to extend his loan deal at Hull FC on a week-to-week basis.