Leeds Rhinos have agreed an undisclosed fee with Huddersfield Giants to sign former Castleford Tigers forward Brett Ferres, subject to agreeing personal terms with the player and him passing a medical.
The 29-year-old England forward played in all three of England’s Tests against New Zealand in the autumn and Leeds will be the fifth West Yorkshire club that Ferres has played for, having started his career at Bradford Bulls in 2005, winning the World Club Challenge in 2006, before moving to Wakefield in 2007 as part of the deal that took David Solomona to the Bulls.
After two seasons at the Wildcats, he moved to Castleford Tigers where he continued his career progression, but it was a move to Huddersfield Giants in July 2012 that arguably saw him produce the best form of his career. In 2013 he was named in the Super League Dream Team as Huddersfield lifted the League Leaders Shield and he was then called up to Steve McNamara’s World Cup squad that year.
He has made over 250 appearances in Super League and was man of the match when England defeated New Zealand in the opening test in November when he scored two tries after coming off the bench at Hull having scored a hat-trick in the 84-4 warm-up thrashing of France the week before.
Commenting on the signing, Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “We are delighted to have secured a player of the quality of Brett Ferres to compliment our squad for next season.
“Brett knows a lot of our players from the England side and has known Carl Ablett since the pair were teenagers and toured Australia with the England Academy. They know Brett and they are looking forward to having him within our group.
“We are fully aware of the challenge in front of us next season as we look to build on the achievements of last season and adding a player of international class like Brett is a major boost to our plans. I would like to thank Richard Thewlis and the Huddersfield Giants for the way they have dealt with the process and I am sure we have come to an arrangement that allows all parties to move onto the next stage and look forward to 2016.”
Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott said: “We are pleased to have Brett on board. Our other three England internationals also return this week so he has not missed any of our pre-season preparations in comparison to those players.
“He is a tough competitor and someone I have admired for many years and it is great that the club have moved quickly to secure his services. He will immediately begin training with us with just four weeks to go until the start of the season whilst the terms are being agreed.”
Castleford-born Ferres commented: “I would like to thank Gary Hetherington and Brian McDermott for making this move possible. The Rhinos are a fantastic organisation and I am looking forward to being part of the squad next season.
“The last year has seen plenty of ups and downs for me, however, this move gives me an opportunity to finally look forward to the future with confidence and be part of something special here at the Rhinos.”