Leeds Rhinos land Kieran Hudson as former Castleford Tigers prop follows in footsteps of legendary grandad
Hudson was quickly snapped up by Castleford in 2022 shortly after joining Whitehaven, although he saw out the season at the Cumbrian club.
The 23-year-old enjoyed a strong pre-season with the Tigers in preparation for the 2023 campaign, only to see his hopes of making his Super League debut ended by an Achilles injury.
Hudson is now back to full fitness and ready to make his breakthrough at a club close to his heart.
"I am excited to be at the Rhinos," he said.
"The club is a big part of my family and it is great to have finally signed.
"John Holmes was my grandad but growing up in Sunderland we probably never really appreciated how massive John had been here at Leeds but we always knew about it in the background.
"I always remember asking him about whether he would take us to a game and he always joked that he couldn’t go because he would be too tempted to pull his boots on again!
"I started playing football for Sunderland from when I was nine until I was 16 then moved to rugby league with Newcastle.
"Any professional team you have to work hard to get where you want to be. From a young age, I have had that professionalism engrained in me and I am ready to work hard for myself and my family."
Hudson becomes the club's seventh addition for 2024 following the signings of Mickael Goudemand, Lachie Miller, Matt Frawley, Paul Momirovski, Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers.
Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith is convinced Hudson has what it takes to crack the top level.
"He is one of the most impressive young athletes I have spoken to in recent years," said Smith.
"His upbringing in professional football and the hard work he has put in to climb the ladder of professional rugby league show his personal commitment and attitude.
"I am sure he will fit in well with our group of players."