Leeds sign young Widnes duo

Leeds have signed academy players Sam Walters and Jarrod O’Connor from Widnes for an undisclosed fee.

Walters was part of the historic England Academy side that beat the Australian Schoolboys in both Tests at the end of 2018. The back-rower will be the eighth member of the team to be part of the Rhinos academy.

O’Connor is the son of former Great Britain and Ireland international Terry O’Connor. The loose forward has been a regular in the Vikings’ Under-19s side over the last two years.

On signing the pair, Leeds director of rugby Kevin Sinfield said: “We are delighted to have agreed a deal with Widnes to secure these two young players.

“Jarrod clearly comes with a fantastic heritage in the game whilst Sam gained plenty of plaudits for his performances with England.

“They will get the chance to test themselves with our Under-19s Academy this season as Rob Burrow and his side look to build on last season’s Grand Final appearance.

“We are always looking to strengthen our club at every level.

“We have added quality to our Super League squad this season and, just as we did last season when we brought Callum McLelland back to rugby league from Scottish Rugby Union, we are mindful that we must continue to attract the best young talent as well for our academy.”