Dewsbury Rams prop Matthew Haggarty has thanked coach Glenn Morrison for helping him regain his confidence – and subsequently earn a dream move to Super League champions St Helens.
He joins on a three-year deal from March 1 but will be loaned back to play for the West Yorkshire club in 2015 while training full-time at Saints.
Dewsbury have secured a “healthy” compensation package with St Helens for Haggarty, which includes a friendly at Langtree Park in 2016, with all proceeds going to the Rams.
The 24-year-old hopes to become the latest talent from the Championship to make the step up to the elite level.
Fellow prop Alex Walmsley has been a revelation since leaving Batley Bulldogs, also for Saints, at the start of 2013.
“I’d like to thank (Dewsbury chairman) Mark Sawyer for giving me the chance and Glenn Morrison for the hard work he has put in to me over the last two seasons to get me in a position where a club from Super League shows interest,” he said.
“When Dewsbury signed me my career was in the balance and I’d lost my confidence.
“Glenn and the great atmosphere in the changing rooms got me back on track.”
Haggarty has spent time at Salford, Whitehaven, Barrow and Oldham, but Sawyer says three Super League clubs had expressed interest recently.
Morrison added: “We identified Matty at Barrow and continued to keep tabs on him when he was in Championship One; we always knew there was something there. He’s a good kid and it’s a great chance for him.”