Huddersfield Giants have signed highly-rated teenage hooker Reiss Butterworth from the Bradford Bulls for an undisclosed fee.
Butterworth, 19, arrives on a three-year contract and will join up with the Super League club next month for pre-season training.
Given veteran loose-forward/hooker Ryan Hinchcliffe has gone home to Melbourne, Huddersfield have had scope to strengthen it that area of their squad.
“With Hinchy retiring we have a space for a third hooker to put pressure on Adam (O’Brien) and Kruise (Leeming),” said coach Simon Woolford, about the former Sharlston ARLFC junior.
“The coaches have been watching Reiss closely for a good while now both in the Bradford and Castleford Tigers academy as well as during his spell at Batley Bulldogs.
“He’s a strong lad for his age with skills that we feel we can build on if he’s prepared to work hard which in the chats we’ve had I reckon he’s up for so it’s good that we are able to give him an opportunity.
“He’ll jump into training alongside the first-year professionals Olly Russell, Jake Wardle and the like and let’s see where he is in early January when the trial games come around.”
Butterworth said: “I’m over the moon.
“It’s been a long process getting everything over the line but I’m really looking forward to starting in November and being able to crack on.
“My first senior appearance was at the John Smith’s Stadium for Bradford Bulls in Luke Robinson’s Testimonial game.
“I came on and really enjoyed it. The stadium is such a big ground and the fans are great, I really enjoyed my debut and feel I had a good game too.
“I know Adam O’Brien from my time at Bradford and he helped me along when I was 16 or 17 years-old.
“Watching him and Kruise Leeming in Super League you can see their talent, so I’m looking forward to learning off them both and Simon Woolford to make myself a better player.
“It will be good to be able to train full-time and enjoy the experience with the coaching staff.
“I’ve had a meeting already and it sounds like it’s going to be tough. I’m looking forward to getting into pre-season to make myself fitter, sharper and better ready for when the season comes.”
Bradford head of youth John Bastian added: “Reiss has been a pleasure to work with and certainly seeing his improvement and his progress over the last three years has been enjoyable for everyone that has worked has Bradford Bulls.
“He is moving to the Huddersfield Giants and on behalf of everyone at the Bulls, we would like to wish him all the best for the future.
“Like all of our players that decide to move to other pastures, they are always welcome back at the Bradford Bulls.”