FORMER England hooker Shaun Lunt says his move to Batley Bulldogs is a “perfect fit” as he looks to life beyond full-time rugby league.
The former Huddersfield Giants player finished off last season at Leeds Rhinos, having moved mid-season from Hull KR.
Lunt, 32, was not offered a new deal by the Rhinos, though, and has been looking for a club ever since.
Championship outfit Batley have pulled off a real coup by securing the decorated player for the 2020 campaign.
Lunt has more than 300 career appearances and won the 2012 Grand Final while on loan at Leeds before lifting the League Leaders’ Shield back at Huddersfield the following season.
He said: “Iestyn (Harris), my manager, put it out there. I spoke to Batley, had a couple of meetings with them and realised this was the best option for me.
“I’d spoken to another club, too, but this is very close to home and is definitely the right decision for me and my family moving forward.
“I’ve got a job at Signature Resin Floors and I’m looking forward to getting back into it (work).
“I’m just really glad to be going back into the Championship.
“That’s where I started my career and I always wanted to go back to the Championship at some point.”
Although coming through the Castleford Tigers academy ranks, it was back in his homeland of Cumbria where Lunt shot to prominence with part-timers Workington Town, scoring 57 tries in 74 games to earn his big move to Huddersfield.
He scored for the Giants in their 2009 Challenge Cup final loss at Wembley and the following year represented England in the Four Nations before moving on to Hull KR, where he became captain.
Lunt played at Wembley again, this time for KR, in the 2015 Challenge Cup final and he made almost 100 appearances for the Robins.
He suffered a life-threatening illness last year but – after six months out – made his return to action in March.
Lunt struggled to re-establish himself with the Robins and moved to Headingley in a swap loan deal with Matt Parcell in July.
On now dropping down a division, he added: “Obviously with the transition of moving into work, I’m coming to the end of my career now, and so this is a perfect fit.
“I didn’t want to carry on playing full-time and then literally stop needing to look to get back into work so this is ideal.”
Batley chief executive Paul Harrison added: “This is a massive signing for the club.
“To have a player with this level of experience is invaluable and we’re excited to be welcoming Shaun to the Bulldogs.”