Bottom club Widnes have signed Huddersfield captain Kevin Brown for an undisclosed fee.
Brown, 27, had been looking to move to the west of the Pennines after seven years at the Galpharm Stadium, and has signed a four-year deal with the Vikings for the 2013 season and beyond.
His signing was announced by the Vikings just moments before their 68-4 mauling at the hands of Warrington at the Magic Weekend.
After the match, head coach Denis Betts said: “He’s an exceptional signing.
“It shows what our intentions were. This isn’t year one, it’s year zero. We’re putting a team on the field to try and compete week in, week out.
“But we lack composure, leadership and someone to control the game and that’s what we want and that’s why we pushed after Kevin, an Englishman, for that position.
“He will be the first of some (signings). This is a three-year plan. We brought players in, but will be moving some on and strengthening our squad with higher quality players who can handle the pressure and offer leadership.”
Brown was under contract with Huddersfield until the end of 2015, so the signing is a signal of Widnes intention to avoid a repeat of a dismal first season in Super League, which has seen just two wins and 700 points against.
Betts previously coached Brown during his time at Wigan, and it was for the Warriors that Brown made his Super League debut, back in 2003.