Leigh have signed forward Ben Sims from St Helens.
Sims, 19, came through the ranks at Leigh Miners Rangers and has spent the last three years with the Saints academy.
Coach John Duffy said: “Ben’s a local lad who played his junior rugby at Leigh Miners. He was scouted and signed up by St Helens and they’ve done a fantastic job with him.
“Ben played back row at Saints but I think he’ll end up as a middle. He’s a big lad and has got great attributes. He’s aggressive and gets involved in every collision.
“The Academy system produces some great players but there are only so many places that teams like Saints can fill. I’m glad that Ben’s not lost to the game.
“We’ve given him an opportunity and so far in training he’s taken it with both hands. He’s a Leigh lad and wants to play for Leigh and this is a great opportunity for him. I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Sims added: “I grew up watching Leigh at Hilton Park so to get the chance to play for the club seems surreal. I was going to go back playing amateur but I got a call from Ando (assistant coach Paul Anderson) inviting me to come down and it’s all happened from there.
“I’ve enjoyed the training sessions so far and everyone has been really welcoming. There are some fantastic professionals who’ve been there and done that and they’re only too pleased to help you and pass on advice.”