Leeds Rhinos have signed Featherstone Rovers prop Jack Ormondroyd –son of Bradford City legend Ian – for an undisclosed fee.
The talented forward is a latecomer to rugby league, not playing until he was 16, but has plenty of promise and is seen by head coach Brian McDermott as a work in progress.
Ormondroyd, 24, was a key member of Championship side that reached the Qualifiers this season, scoring four tries from 30 appearances with part-timers Featherstone and playing against Leeds in August.
However, he will quit Post Office Road and his role as a community football coach with Bradford City to now join Rhinos full-time on a three-year deal and hopes to, eventually, make his mark in Super League.
“I’ve played alongside (Leeds players) Jordan Baldwinson, Anthony Mullally and Ashton Golding at Featherstone this year and they’ve all said how much I will enjoy it at Leeds and how good the set-up is,” said Ormondroyd, who has proved a real attacking force for Jon Sharp’s side.
“There have been a few examples in recent years of lads who have made the step up from the Championship to Super League and it gives players like me hope.
“I’m massively looking forward to joining Rhinos. It will be the first time I have been part of a full-time environment and I think that will be really good for me and help me develop.”
Brought up in East Bierley, he supported Bradford Bulls as a child, his father having played more than 1oo games as a striker with the city’s football club as well as spells with Aston Villa and Leicester City.
Ormondroyd played football originally, too, but then tried rugby league with Drighlington ARLFC and never looked back.
He trained briefly with Bradford before accepting Featherstone’s offer of a contract and established himself in the first-team last season having spent
2014 playing in Australia with country side Thirlmere Roosters.
At six foot five inches and weighing 17 stone he has obvious presence and McDermott, a rangy front-row himself, admitted: “Jack is a player who has impressed us this season and who has potential.
“It will be good to see him in our environment and see how he develops.
“We will be continuing our dual-registration arrangement with Featherstone next season and that will allow Jack to continue his development in games as well.”
Ormondroyd, who debuted for Featherstone in 2013, added: “I have spoken with Brian McDermott and (conditioner) Jason Davidson and it will be great to work with them.
“Having the opportunity to work with a full-time conditioner is something I am really excited about.
“I currently work full-time as community coach with Bradford City so I will have to end that to concentrate on my training.”