Leeds Rhinos have announced the signing of 21 year-old half back Cory Aston from the Sheffield Eagles on a two-year contract having agreed an undisclosed fee with the Championship club.
The Sheffield-born scrum-half has played 69 games for the Eagles in the Championship since making his debut back in 2013 as an 18 year-old. He has amassed an impressive 31 tries and was part of the Sheffield side which reached the Qualifiers in 2015.
Aston said, “This is a great opportunity for me. It is a dream come true to sign for Leeds Rhinos and to get the chance to play in the top flight having played in the Championship for the last few years.
“I have had a good chat with Brian McDermott and I am looking forward to learning from him.
“I have been at Sheffield all my life and obviously only had one coach in my dad so it will be a fresh start with a different voice and new concepts and systems about how to play the game.
“I am excited about the challenge of playing in Super League and testing myself in training and in games against the best players around.
“The Championship is a different competition and I have heard people say that it is more physical but not as fast as Super League, I am looking forward to discovering that for myself now.
“I think the fact that I have played nearly 70 games in the Championship but I’m still only 21 will stand me in good stead for the future.
“I will be working hard in pre-season but I also know that if Brian wants me to play at Featherstone on dual registration that I can play in the Championship as well.”
Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Brian McDermott said: “Considering his age, Cory has already got a lot of experience of playing senior rugby which is testament to his toughness, especially as a halfback in the Championship.
“It will be good to see him in our full time training environment and he is looking forward to the challenge of coming away from home in Sheffield for the first time and making the most of his chance in Super League.
“As with all our young players, we will certainly help him to make the most of his potential and the rest will be down to his hard work and determination to succeed.”
Sheffield Eagles Director of Rugby Mark Aston said: “I am delighted for Cory that he has this opportunity to play in Super League with one of the biggest clubs in the country.
“It shows that perseverance and hard work can help you realise your ambitions. He has taken a different pathway by playing in the Championship at a young age but that will stand him in good stead and hopefully lead to a long and successful career at Leeds Rhinos.”