Salford RED Devils have won the race for the signature of Leeds Rhinos winger or full-back Ben Jones-Bishop who will join them on a three-year contract from 2015.
The Red Devils have acted quickly to secure the prized services of the 25-year-old England Knights player, who is out of contract with the Rhinos at the end of the season and rejected their offer of a new deal.
Leeds’ revelation at the weekend that Jones-Bishop was up for grabs sparked a flurry of activity and Salford owner Marwan Koukash is delighted to pull off a second major capture for coach Iestyn Harris in just over a fortnight following the signing of New Zealand full-back Kevin Locke.
“He was another player identified by Iestyn,” Koukash said. “He is one of the missing pieces in the jigsaw.
“There was a lot of interest but we talked to Ben about our ambitions and luckily he believes in our vision. He’s very excited about joining our future plans.”
Jones-Bishop lost his place at Leeds at the start of the season to new signing Tom Briscoe but on a rare outing took his try total to 53 in 76 games with two touchdowns in last Thursday’s 22-14 win at Castleford.
He made his debut for the Rhinos in 2008 and played in the 2011 and 2012 Grand Final wins as well as winning the World Club Challenge in 2012.
Harris said: “Ben Jones-Bishop is somebody who I’ve admired over the past few years and I don’t think I’m on my own in saying that.
“He will be another terrific signing for this club. We are making signings that will add an extra dimension next season and we look forward to working with him when he joins us after the current season finishes.”
Salford, who are currently 11th in the table and out of the Challenge Cup, have been linked with Jones-Bishop’s former Leeds team-mate Weller Hauraki, who is now at Castleford.