Hooker ROBBIE WARD hopes to earn himself an NRL contract, having signed for Australian side Sunshine Coast Falcons following his release from Leeds Rhinos.
He held talks with Super League and Championship clubs after being told he would not be given a new deal at Headingley.
However, Ward has opted to make the switch to the Queensland Cup side who are a feeder team for NRL greats Melbourne Storm.
“There’s no better time to go,” he said.
“I’m 20 years old and there’s nothing holding me back here.
“It will be a great opportunity for me to experience a new lifestyle and play in a top competition over there.
“I’m looking to go over there, start afresh, put last year behind me and play well over there at the club I’m going to which will, hopefully, lead to me playing in the NRL one day.”
Ward made just three appearances this season after debuting for Leeds last year and finished with two tries in 10 games in total for the Rhinos.
Meanwhile, Widnes Vikings have signed Australian back-row Chris Houston, 30, after he was released from the last year of his contract with NRL club Newcastle Knights.
Former Leeds and England winger Lee Smith, who played briefly with Wakefield Trinity this season after rejoining from Newcastle Falcons, has started a two-month trial with Super League rivals Hull FC.