Sheffield Eagles have signed top amateur player Shaun Squire from under the noses of two of their Championship rivals.
The centre has joined on a one-year deal after training with the first team and could be a surprise addition to the squad for the trip to Halifax on Sunday.
Squire, 23, from the Shaw Cross Sharks club was part of the Great Britain Lions squad that toured Australia last year.
At 6ft 3ins and 15st, and with a reputation for outstanding speed, he will add power and pace to the backs. He played for Eagles in the pre-season game at York.
Eagles coach Mark Aston revealed that Squire had trained with his local club Dewsbury and John Kear, coach at near rivals Batley Bulldogs, had made a late move for the player.
“Shaun was at Dewsbury but didn’t sign a contract. We’re pleased because we have had him on trial and at the last minute Batley came in and tried to nick him but he decided he wanted to be here.
“He has played at the highest level of the amateur game and will be in contention for Sunday. It might be right to see what he can do.”
Squire believes he’s made the right choice, adding: “I’m happy to be here, I’ve no worries about playing in the Championship.”
A league debut at the New Shay would be a tough test with both clubs desperate for a boost after starting the season with only one win.
Squire faces competition with Corey Hanson and John Ford, on loan from Salford, bidding for a place in the centres.
Aston’s options will be further increased from the weekend when major signing USA international Lelauloto Tagaloa links up with the squad.
The player -nicknamed Loto - is due to fly in tomorrow after delays in obtaining a UK visa.
He is likely to make his debut in the Challenge Cup third round against East Leeds at Owlerton on Sunday, March 16.