Leeds youngster Iwan Stephens has switched codes to join Newcastle Falcons’ senior academy.
The 18-year-old winger was held in high regard at Headingley and topped the try-scoring charts for the Rhinos under-19s last year.
He also featured in the England academy set-up and is the son of former Wales fly-half Colin Stephens.
“Iwan has got a very professional attitude and a good head on his shoulders, which, combined with his natural ability, makes him a really exciting signing for us,” Newcastle Falcons academy manager Mark Laycock told the club’s website.
“To begin with he will play on the wing while he re-acquaints himself with rugby union, but he has all the skills and capabilities to play full-back too in the longer term.
“He kicks goals, scores tries for fun and he’s a really evasive runner with outstanding athleticism.
“He’s prepared to give professional rugby union a really good crack, he fits our style of play and it’s a great project for both parties.
“His game-understanding of rugby union is obviously a big work-on for him to begin with, but we know he’ll work his socks off and that he has the temperament to do it.
“As coaches it’s also interesting to tap into his knowledge and maybe pick up the odd bit from rugby league and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
*Photo credit: Leeds Rhinos