Hull FC have announced the signing of hooker Denive Balmforth from Warrington on a two-year deal.
Balmforth, who was born in Leeds, was a stand-out player for Warrington at youth level. He also played youth rugby for Stanningley, where he won the National Cup at Under-14 level.
He also won the Man of the Match award whilst playing for Yorkshire in the County of Origin victory over Lancashire.
Speaking to the club website, Balmforth said: “Hull have been watching me for a while since my junior rugby and having spoken to the club more recently, I really liked the sound of the opportunity to come over and be part of the Rising Stars group.
“The chance to work with three out and out hookers here at Hull is something that was a real draw for me, including a former Man of Steel in Danny Houghton- who is probably one of the best hookers that Super League has seen.
“You’ve also got Jordan (Johnstone) and Joey (Lovodua) who bring different qualities too, so I’m hoping to learn from all three of them and take little bits of each of their own games to add to mine.”
Balmforth likened to Keiron Cunningham by Hull Coach
Hull Head Coach Brett Hodgson added: “Denive is a genuine hooker who can also play at loose-forward. He’s quick and strong, with a good frame, and has a bit of a Keiron Cunningham stature about him.
“He’s a name for the future that can definitely add something to our system. Competition in the team is always good – I’m looking forward to seeing how he goes in the academy and reserves this season, and how he progresses training with the first team.
“The club have been monitoring him for a while and I watched him closely in the Yorkshire and Lancashire Origin match – along with our own Jacob Hookem – Denive was the best player on the field.
“He needed a bit of a change of environment and something a bit closer to home. We’ve given him the opportunity and we’re looking forward to helping him progress and reach his exciting potential.”