HUNSLET HAVE signed centre Ben Heaton from Betfred Championship club Halifax.
Heaton, 28, has penned an initial 12-month deal with the option of a further year.
The former Oldham three-quarter made more than 130 appearances in a seven-season career with Halifax, scoring 38 tries.
He touched down eight times in 18 games this year and was ever-present in Halifax’s Qualifiers campaign, playing against Super League clubs Leeds Rhinos, Salford Red Devils, Widnes Vikings and Hull KR.
Heaton said he is excited about the move and looking forward to a “new challenge”, despite dropping into Betfred League One.
“I have heard nothing but good things about the club which made my decision to join the club and drop down a division an easy one,” he said.
“I am ready for a big season and I can’t wait to get into it.
“Gary Thornton is putting a strong squad together and I am excited about the season ahead and getting this club back to where it belongs.”
Coach Thornton described Heaton as “another quality signing for us and a fantastic addition to our squad”.
He said: “Ben has played a major role at Halifax for a number of seasons which has seen them become a regular top-four Championship side and to be able to bring a player of this proven quality and experience into our group is a major coup.
“As soon as we were alerted of his availability we threw our hat into the ring and obviously had to beat off a number of other clubs for his sought-after signature.
“Our ambitious plans for the future appealed to him and he chose to come on board.”
Thornton added: “He will primarily be used at centre, although he is equally at home in the back row or on the wing, and so provides some flexibility and utility value too.
“Ben is highly regarded and respected within our game and he will add to our attacking options out wide, but he is also a strong defender.
“He has been at some very good clubs at the high end of the Championship and his experience will be hugely important to our group.”