Hull Kingston Rovers have signed centre Thomas Minns.
The 20-year-old is currently plying his trade for Featherstone Rovers in the Kingstone Press Championship but came through the ranks at Leeds Rhinos and also impressed during a season-long loan at London Broncos last year.
Minns will now move to the KC Lightstream Stadium on a three-year contract at the end of the campaign and will bring added competition for places within head coach Chris Chester’s squad.
The talented youngster scored seven tries in 27 first team appearances both for the Rhinos and the Broncos.
He said: “I’ve been told what Hull KR have planned next year and I want to be part of that. I’m really looking forward to having a new challenge and a stable place where I can get my head down and focus on playing my rugby.
“I was at London last year and it wasn’t the best season but I was gaining experience in a difficult situation. It made me mentally tougher and physically stronger and coming through that adversity definitely helped me on the field and also off it in terms of my life skills. I’m the player and the person I am now because of that.
“I want to come into the Hull KR team at the end of the season, bring some enthusiasm and get to know everybody. I want to push for a centre spot and being a young lad, that competition for places might push the person ahead of me start to play that little bit better as well.
“I’d love to come in and drop in that centre spot but it’s not going to be handed to me on a plate and I’m willing to work hard for it.
“The club is doing well in the Challenge Cup this year and I hope they can go all the way. I want to be part of that and push for that Grand Final in the coming years. That would be the dream and the best thing ever.
“I also can’t wait to experience playing in a Hull derby and hear all that noise from the Rovers fans for the first time!”
A graduate of the Leeds Rhinos academy, Minns has been a strong performer at youth level for his hometown club and has also impressed at Featherstone this season after being allowed to join the club to play regular first team rugby.
The centre has now become Chester’s first new signing for the 2016 campaign and the Rovers boss is excited about having him on board.
Chester said: “Thomas has come through a very good system at the Rhinos and I’m sure he will add a lot to our squad. He’s got plenty of experience at Super League and Championship level and he’s a really good bloke off the field too.
“We’re a little bit light in the centres for next season and Thomas will add genuine competition for places in that position, but he can also cover at full back and on the wing as well.
“Improving our strength in depth will be one area of focus for our recruitment for next season. That depth is what separates the top sides from the rest and it’s something we’ve identified as an area for improvement within our squad.
“Unlike this season, we will have a settled team going into 2016 and we don’t need to make wholesale changes. Having that consistency will be crucial but we’ll still be bringing a few new faces in and we’re looking forward to having Thomas on board.”