Super League giants Leeds have signed full-back Luke Hooley from Championship Grand Finalists Batley on a two-year deal from 2023.
The 24-year-old has scored 30 tries in 55 appearances for Batley and was a standout player in Sunday’s Championship Grand Final defeat to Leigh.
Leeds coach Rohan Smith said: “Luke has matured a lot as a player over the past few seasons at Batley and a great deal of credit has to go to the coaching team at Batley, who have done a great job in helping Luke realise his potential.
“We have tracked him closely this season and see Luke as a quality all-round full-back, who will add depth and competition to our squad.”
Luke Hooley to link up with Rohan Smith again
Hooley came through the ranks at Wakefield but found opportunities limited. He has gone on to build a fine reputation with Batley.
The energetic full-back worked under Smith when was at the Bulls as a junior during Smith’s time at the club. However, the Bulls entered administration and Hooley moved on to Wakefield in 2017.
He said: “I can’t wait to get started at Leeds. To join the Rhinos is a dream come true especially getting another chance in Super League with such a big club.
“Rohan was a big influence on my decision. I knew him from my time at Bradford and it was a no-brainer to work with him again.
“I think it is massive for players in the Championship to know they can get another shot at Super League. When I left Wakefield I thought I was done and would never play in Super League. But it just goes to show if you work hard, enjoy your rugby again and get some games under your belt that anything can happen.
“Batley have looked after me from the first day I arrived at the club and shown my family and I nothing but respect. Every credit should go to Batley for putting me in the right direction to where I am today and I will always be grateful to the club.”