Leeds Rhinos have confirmed the signings of Widnes Vikings academy stars Jarrod O’Connor and Sam Walters for an undisclosed transfer fee.
O’Connor, 17, is a loose-forward and the son of former Great Britain prop and current Sky Sports pundit Terry O’Connor.
Meanwhile back-rower Walters, 18, was part of the England academy side that produced a memorable series win against the Australian Schoolboys at the end of last year.
“We are delighted to have agreed a deal with Widnes to secure these two young players,” Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield said.
“Jarrod clearly comes with a fantastic heritage in the game whilst Sam gained plenty of plaudits for his performances with England.
“They will get the chance to test themselves with our Under 19 Academy this season as Rob Burrow and his side look to build on last season’s Grand Final appearance.”
The money brought in from the signings is believed to have helped Widnes keep hold of at least one more first team player as they are forced to cut costs following their takeover yesterday.