Halifax have secured the Wakefield Trininty prop Keegan Hirst on a two-year deal.
Hirst, who has extensive Championship experience with Batley and Featherstone, finished the season at the Shay after leaving Belle Vue in transfer deadline week as part of a deal that took Cook Islands forward Adam Tangata in the opposite direction.
Both players are out of contract in November, with Tangata expected to stay with Trinity and Hirst now commiting to be part of Simon Grix’s off-season rebuild.
“Keegan improved us on and off the pitch after he arrived, so we’re more than pleased that he’s staying with us,” said Grix, who admitted it had been a ‘nice surprise’ he had been able to keep the 31 year old on board.
“He’s got some character and some leadership skills, which is something we’ve been lacking generally, and he’s already shown on the field what he’s capable of.
“While he’s a Super League player, he knows all about Championship rugby league, so there won’t be any surprises for him.
“He’s a real ‘one percenter’, always looking for that bit extra.
“He prepares properly and does whatever he needs to do in the best interests of the team.
“In that regard, he walks the walk and he’s also prepared to talk the talk; if he sees someone who’s not doing everything they can, he’s not afraid to call them out.
“It’s been a nice surprise that we’ve been able to keep him, to be honest.
“I think if this had just come down to money, we wouldn’t have been able to get this one across the line, because he certainly had better offers on the table.
“But he’s been made to feel welcome here, which counts for a lot with Keegan, and I’m looking forward to working with him over the next two years.”
Elsewhere, one of Fax’s departing players, the former Widnes back rower Shane Grady, has rejoined his hometown club on a two year deal.
Grady, who still lives in Cheshire and has a young family, had been widely tipped to join the Vikings.
Three of Grix’s squad have been called into Wales coach John Kear’s squad for the Nines World Cup in Sydney on October 18-19.
The Davies twins, Curtis and Connor, and prop Dan Fleming are all in an initial 23-man selection, for a training camp in North Wales in late September after which Kear will name his final 16-man squad.
Fax’s Huddersfield-bound centre Chester Butler is also picked.