North Wales Crusaders have confirmed the signing of highly-rated St Helens prop Callum Hazzard for the 2021 season.
The 21-year-old returns to the club where he spent last year on loan, impressing in his 18 appearances by scoring five tries and being nominated for the League 1 Young Player of the Year award.
He was also recalled by Saints late on in the season and made his Super League debut against London Broncos.
“As soon as I got the message from (assistant) Andy Moulsdale and Muzza (Crusaders boss Anthony Murray), I was really keen and ready to get going again,” said Hazzard. “2019 was a huge season for me as I managed to make my Super League debut on the back of playing at Crusaders.
“Without those games at League 1 level, I would never have done that. I showed I was capable of competing against blokes and it mentally prepared me as well.
“I’ve got to earn my place in the squad as there’s obviously experienced blokes there and lads who’ve put down their place in the team. I want to train well, catch the eye and get a place in that squad.
“With a young and firing squad and mix of some older, more experienced guys, I think we’ve got a real good chance of making those play-offs and pushing to knock some teams off the top of that league.
“We’ve got to aim as high as possible, but we at least need to be making those play-off spots. League 1’s been really competitive for the last few years and it’s only getting stronger and stronger.”
Saints head coach Kristian Woolf added: “Callum is a great kid. He has plenty of football ability and has handled a tough year really well.
“We all agreed at the Club that Callum needs game time and to have the opportunity to play some regular footy. We wish him all the best at North Wales and he knows the door is always open to come back.”