Wakefield Trinity have confirmed the signing of front-rower Jordan Baldwinson on a two-year contract beginning next season.
Leeds-born Baldwinson made his Rhinos debut in 2013, but left the club at the end of that season to join New Zealand Warriors. He returned to England in 2014 and had a spell in Super League with Bradford Bulls before joining Featherstone Rovers for the 2015 campaign, being named Championship young player of the year.
He played most of last year on dual-registration with Rovers, making one appearance for Leeds. He has played 12 times for Rhinos this year, scoring one try and has turned out 14 times for Featherstone.
Baldwinson, whose move was predicted by the Yorkshire Evening Post last week, told the club’s website: “I’m extremely excited to have signed a two-year deal at Wakefield Trinity.
“I know from past experiences the fans are really passionate so I can’t wait to get out on the field and play in front of them.
“The team are improving season after season and I’m keen to be a part of the journey and to add to what is already a very good bunch of players. When I spoke to Chris [Chester, Trinity’s coach] and Michael [Carter, the chairman] they explained to me how passionate the club is and what they are looking to achieve.
“Straight away that made me want to be a part of this great club. I can’t wait to work with Chris and the rest of the coaching staff as of next season.”
He added “I would like to thank Leeds and wish them all the best. It is a great club and I’ve enjoyed every minute, but I feel the time is right for me to move on to my next chapter.
“I also have to say a special thank you to Featherstone Rovers for giving me the game time I needed and making me feel welcome from the start.”
Chester said: “Jordan’s a player we’ve been keeping a close eye on for a while and to get him on board for the next couple of seasons is great news for us.”
He added: “We’re delighted to sign a young, British and hungry front-rower.
“He’ll add some extra competition and quality into the forward pack and he’s only 22 so he has a big future ahead of him. Myself and the coaching staff are looking forward to working with Jordan and seeing him develop here at Wakefield Trinity.”
Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “Jordan has been in our top-25 for the past two years and has progressed, but at the start of the season we agreed we would release him if he didn’t make our top-20 in 2018 and he will leave with our best wishes.
“His departure will leave a vacancy and we will plan to fill this at the end of this season.”