Hull KR’s Chris Atkin says he is “excited” about joining Salford Red Devils as the Robins confirmed the departure of the England Knights star as well as back-row James Greenwood and half-back Josh Drinkwater.
All three will leave KCOM Craven Park at the end of the season with Salford then quick to announce they had signed the 26-year-old scrum-half Atkin.
He made his debut for the Robins in mid-2017 having signed a two-and-a-half year contract from Swinton Lions - where current Salford chief Ian Watson was his coach - before going on to star for KR in his debut Super League campaign.
Australian Drinkwater has been ever-present this term since joining from Catalans Dragons while Greenwood scored 22 tries in 92 appearances after moving from Wigan Warriors but missed most of this campaign due to an ACL injury.
“I've enjoyed my time with all three of those young men in terms of working and alongside them," said KR head coach Tony Smith with Atkin and Drinkwater in his squad for Friday's game against London Broncos.
"Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to coach James but he's been a pleasure around the place and a professional in terms of how he's been rehabbing. “Chris and Josh have been tremendous and I wish them well in their future careers.
"It's been a short but enjoyable time spent with them on my behalf but we all wish them the best of luck in the future."
Atkin struggled to feature at the start of the year under previous coach Tim Sheens who preferred Danny McGuire and Drinkwater as his half-back pairing and only briefly tried him at full-back.
But he has been playing at hooker of late and is seen as a major addition for in-form Salford ahead of 2020.
Atkin said: “I’m really excited. The boys have done really well this season and are pushing towards the play-offs at the end of the season now, so I’m really excited to come on board.
“Watto (Ian Watson) was the one who brought me in at Swinton and gave me my professional debut.
“Since then, I’ve always wanted to work with him again and this opportunity has come up and I’m really looking forward to it and feeling determined to get back to it.
“He’s a really great coach and he’s proved that again this year.
“KR was a big step up from the Championship and I get to take it on again now and hopefully push Salford up the Super League.
“I’m looking forward to meeting the boys as well and just getting stuck into pre-season.”