Sheffield Eagles have signed former loanee Will Hope on a one-year deal.
Second-rower Hope returns to the Eagles after a temporary spell from then parent club Salford in 2014.
23-year old Hope made 11 appearances for the Eagles during his first spell with the club, and arrives after appearing 23 times for Oldham in the Kingstone Press Championship last season.
Director of rugby and acting CEO Mark Aston, who has worked with Hope at close quarters in his coaching capacity with Ireland, was delighted to be re-united with the former Salford ace.
“We had an advantage when we moved to sign Will because obviously he is someone I know really well,” Aston said.
“We first came across him when we brought him in on loan from Salford a couple of years ago, and I saw a player there who had bags of potential.
“When he first arrived on our doorstep he was a quiet lad, but through my role with Ireland I have seen him develop tremendously over the past couple of years, and I firmly believe there is far more to come.”
After making a handful of appearances for Salford in his formative years, he further enhanced his knowledge of the game with loan stints at Oldham and with the Eagles.
Hope then broke away from the Red Devils after signing a permanent deal with the Roughyeds in 2015, and made his first-team breakthrough by helping Oldham to a respectable finish in their first season back at Championship level last season.
“He has gone away since he was first here and really matured as a player and as a person,” Aston said.
“Since that first day I met him, he has slowly grown in confidence and has started to show the signs of becoming a real force in the game. I really believe in this lad, he is still young and has plenty to learn, but there is no doubt he is improving,
“He is more of a talker now, he has become much more confident in recent years, and I think we have got him through the door at the right time. I am really looking forward to working with him.”