Yorkshire Carnegie have signed former Harrogate fly-half Callum Irvine from Hull Ionians on a one-year deal.
Irvine, 23, is now relishing the chance to finally experience full-time rugby and will offer competition for the No10 jersey following Joe Ford’s move to Leicester Tigers.
The former Scottish junior international has had one previous opportunity to get a taste of the Championship when he was due to sign for Doncaster Knights in 2015 only to see an ankle injury suffered in pre-season scupper his hopes.
Irvine came through the youth system at Harrogate and made his debut for them when he was just 17.
He spent five seasons there and made more than 100 appearances before moving to National League One Hull Ionians.
Carnegie head coach James Lowes said: “Callum is a player with a lot of potential and he will be a good addition to our squad for next season.
“For a young player, he already has a lot of game experience playing in the national leagues and I am sure he will benefit from being part of our training environment.”
Meanwhile, beaten play-off finalists Carnegie will start the new 2017-18 season away at London Scottish on the weekend of September 1/2/3.
The fixtures were announced yesterday with Rotherham Titans hosting Nottingham Rugby first up and Doncaster facing a difficult opening day test at Jersey.
Newly-promoted Hartpury College face a baptism of fire as they start out at Bristol who have just been relegated from the Premiership.
Commenting ahead of the 2017/18 season, chairman of the Greene King IPA Championship, Geoff Irvine, said: “As we continue with our planning and preparation for next season it’s clear that there’s a great deal to be excited about.
“With next season being the first one without the play-offs - which have been replaced by a new prize money incentive - the competition among teams will be as high as ever as they look to play for their stake in the winning fund and secure their position in the league at the end of the season.”
The RFU’s director of professional rugby Nigel Melville added: “Next season will be an exciting one for the Greene King IPA Championship. We have been working alongside the clubs to identify positive opportunities to develop and grow the competition.
“With more movement of Elite Academy Players now available across the top three tiers of the game, we hope to see a rising number of young academy players playing Championship rugby next season.
“We have also been working behind the scenes to provide the Greene King IPA Championship with increased marketing support, taking the competition to a wider audience.”