Aussie Ben Black signs for Fax

MONTHS of rumour, counter-rumour and denial will finally reach a positive conclusion tomorrow night when Australian half back Ben Black arrives back in Halifax.

As revealed exclusively at, Fax have recaptured the electrifying 26 year old, who spent 18 months at the Shay in 2004 and 2005, as a replacement for AWOL Kiwi Aaron Heremaia, who quit the club over the winter without playing a game.

Black was booked on a flight out of Sydney today and should land in Manchester late tomorrow evening - just 48 hours before Matt Calland's National League One table-toppers take on Sheffield at the Don Valley Stadium.

Black, who scored a staggering 36 tries in just 33 appearances last time round, has spent the last year and a half with Queensland Cup outfit Burleigh Bears.

Bears chief executive - and former Castleford star - Adrian Vowles had stubbornly resisted Fax's attempts to lure the former North Sydney playmaker back to England.

Director of football Martin Hall initially thought he had his man at the beginning of last season, only for the Bears to block the deal.

And Fax and big-spending rivals Widnes have both been rebuffed inside the last six months as the Queenslanders insisted on holding Black to his two-year contract.

In the end, it has taken a transfer fee - funded by former Shay director and department store owner Roger Harvey - to swing the deal Fax's way.

"We always said Ben was a target, but we couldn't make a move until Burleigh indicated they were willing to release him," said chief executive Graham Clay, who has spent the last few months fending off increasingly frenzied speculation about Black's return.

"After several false dawns that finally happened last week.

"This has been an unusual and difficult deal to put together, and we are extremely grateful to Roger and Sue Harvey for sponsoring Ben and making his signing possible."