Ellis Archer has been granted an early release from his contract with St Helens so he can link up with his hometown club Barrow for the 2023 season.
The 18-year-old half-back came through the ranks at St Helens, making his Super League debut last season.
Archer still had a year left to run on his contract with the Super League champions, but he has left early to head home to Barrow, who play in the Championship.
He said: “I’m absolutely buzzing to be honest. I spent most of my life coming to the games, so to now be part of the squad is a privilege.
“I’ve always said that I wanted to represent my hometown club at some point in my career.
“There are probably three half-backs ahead of me at the moment, but it’s really exciting to learn from those guys, get little tips and try to improve my game.”
Barrow boss delighted to pull off Ellis Archer coup
Archer will be competing for a spot in the halves alongside Jarrod Sammut, Ryan Johnston and Jake Carter at the Raiders.
He is one of a number of local players who have signed with the Cumbrian club for next season. Full-back Luke Broadbent and Rio-Osayomwanbo Corkill have also signed for 2023.
Barrow chairman Steve Neale said: “We are delighted that Ellis has come on board having been released by St Helens.
“We have been monitoring his progress for some time and hope that he can take this opportunity with both hands.
“We want all the area’s best youngsters playing for Barrow, and Ellis now has the opportunity. He proved by breaking into the Saints team that he has no shortage of talent, but the challenge for him now is to prove his abilities week in, week out in Championship rugby.”
Archer becomes Barrow’s second signing of the week, with ex-Whitehaven winger Andrew Bulman penning a one-year deal with the club on Tuesday.
Raiders director of rugby Andy Gaffney added: “Ellis Archer is another young local lad who has been pre-season training with us after being with St Helens as a junior.
“Still young enough for academy rugby, Ellis has shown a great attitude and willingness to learn and will continue his rugby education with us at Barrow. We all look forward to seeing his progress.”