Widnes have handed a one-year full-time contract to Under 19s captain Kieran Butterworth.
Butterworth, 19, is a winger by trade, and first joined the club’s scholarship programme back in 2008.
Head Coach Denis Betts told the club’s official website: “This offers us a chance to develop Kieran even further through our system. He has a great work ethic and now we just need to see if we can aid his undoubted potential by integrating him into the first team for a longer period, and giving him a full-time position.
“It’s nice to be able to offer lads who really want to be a part of this team an opportunity.
“In the short time that he’s already been in our environment, he’s been good and the first team lads really like him. He continues to prove that he’s committed, works hard in every single session and doesn’t look out of place. With a full pre-season working alongside the lads, I’m hoping that the extra workload and physical demands will really advance him.”
Butterworth said: “When I first signed Scholarship forms, I remember my Mum saying that the fact I had signed didn’t necessarily mean that I was going to make it as a rugby league player and I would still have to work hard at my game.
“This really spurred me on at the time and it still does to this day, so to have achieved one of my personal goals and earned a full-time contract at the club, is something that I’m really pleased about.
“The next 12 months is going to be massive for me and I’m going to give it my best shot.”