Former Leeds Rhinos youngster Joe Hird has joined newly-promoted Dewsbury Rams on a season-long loan for 2024 from fellow Championship outfit Sheffield Eagles.
Hird – a former Rhinos academy captain – departed Headingley for Sheffield ahead of the season just gone without making a senior appearance for Leeds.
The forward – who will turn 21 next month – featured just twice for the Eagles during his first campaign at the Olympic Legacy Park, with both appearances coming as an interchange in-between loans at both Keighley Cougars & Hunslet.
He will head back out on loan for the 2024 season, and on a more permanent basis, with Dewsbury.
Ex-Leeds Rhinos young gun completes cross-Championship loan move from Sheffield Eagles to Dewsbury Rams for 2024
Sheffield’s Director of Rugby Mark Aston told their club website: “The most important thing for any player is playing games, and this loan will give Joe the opportunity to play regular rugby league at a good level.
“I’ve watched him a lot over the last year, and I know he’s got the potential to be a really good player.
“He’s a good kid with good pedigree and good habits, and I know that Dewsbury will be getting a really good middle who will be eager to get going and show them what he can do.
“I do believe he has the potential to be a really good player, he’s hard-working, tough and very compromising. He’s still maturing, and this loan deal will really help him develop as a player.”
Dewsbury boss lauds new loan recruit Joe Hird: ‘He’s a big threat with a good engine’
Meanwhile, speaking to new club Dewsbury’s website, the player himself said: “I’m really excited to be here and to get going. I’m ready to get stuck in with the boys and have a good 2024 season with them.”
The Rams inherit a young prop with 22 total senior career appearances to his name, still waiting for his first try. Nonetheless, head coach Dale Ferguson believes they have a gem on their hands having played alongside him in pre-season last year.
Ferguson added: “I thought he brought a lot for a young middle. He’s a big threat with a good engine, and I think he’ll be an asset to our pack.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him work alongside our other middles.”