LEIGH Centurions have signed Jonny Walker following his release from Hull KR.
The 22-year-old prop was sacked by Rovers last month for an alcohol-related breach of discipline.
He joins Centurions with immediate effect on a full-time contract until November 30 next year, with the option of a further 12 months.
Bradford born Walker, 23, made 48 Super League appearances for Castleford between 2010-13, scoring four tries and also represented Scotland in 2012. He had to pull out of Scotland’s 2013 World Cup squad due to a knee injury. He played previously in the Academy ranks for Bradford Bulls. His twin brother Adam plays for Hull KR.
Leigh Centurions head of rugby Derek Beaumont said: “Jonny is a top player and will soon become a key part of the Centurions squad. He is moving to Leigh so he can become involved straight away.
“He is a talented young player who will greatly benefit from the culture around our club and I am sure he will become an important member of the team. Jonny has the experience of full-time rugby at the top level and is a great addition especially at this important stage of the season.
“He is a quality, proven Super League player and a big signing for us, a strong one. It was one challenged by other Super League clubs but Jonny came over here with the deal by no means nailed-on and saw our facilities, met our coaching staff and signed. He will fit into our culture and thrive here.”
Making reference to his recent release by Hull KR, Beaumont said: “Sometimes when players fall off the track it is about the people around them rather than themselves.
“We wanted a big, aggressive prop forward with skill and there are not many about. We convinced him that the right place for him is at Leigh Sports Village. I can’t wait to see him on the field.”
Leigh coach Paul Rowley said: “When we heard that Jonny had become available we quickly did some research and all we got back was positive.
“Jonny was someone I was aware of and to get someone of his ability and potential is a massive signing for our club going forward. I am looking forward to working with him and am sure he will quickly settle in at Leigh and enjoy his time here.
“Jonny and his agent pinpointed Leigh Centurions as the club for him because of the culture we have developed here. It is really pleasing to get that message out there. To get him in the face of stiff competition from other Super League clubs and our competitors in the Championship is especially rewarding. He can’t wait to get started and is ambitious to be successful, as we all are.
“It’s a tough place here- there is a lot of competition for places. And competition just got a whole lot tougher. Jonny is a nice, aggressive front-rower, very similar to Sam Barlow. I knew about Jonny, I know his personality and I know he’ll be a success here.”