Watts makes switch to Hull
Hull FC have signed highly-rated forward Liam Watts from city rivals Hull KR on a three-and-a-half-year contract.
The Black and Whites secured the services of the 21-year-old England Knights player after he asked for a move and was given permission by Rovers to speak to other clubs.
“Liam is certainly a promising player for the future and we are looking forward to helping him realise his potential,” said Hull coach Peter Gentle.
“We feel Liam could step up to be a real leader in the team and he will complement the players around him.”
Watts began his professional career at Castleford Tigers before moving to Rovers in 2008 and making his Stobart Super League debut as a 17-year-old.
His progress was recognised by a call-up into England coach Steve McNamara’s elite training squad but he has endured a chequered couple of years at Craven Park, where he was briefly suspended by his club last season following his arrest for an alleged involvement in a police chase.
Watts was told in April that he had no case to answer but by then had found himself out of favour with coach Craig Sandercock, and he has made only one Super League appearance in the last two months.
The 6ft 3in, 16st prop lost his place in the elite training squad last year and was left out of the Knights team to play Ireland last Saturday.
Watts said: “Hull are a club that’s on the rise and I couldn’t quite believe it when my agent contacted me and said Hull were interested in taking me on. I just wanted to sign with them straight away.
“There’s not many players who have swapped between the two clubs like this and I’m one of only a few to come to Hull FC from Hull KR.
“It’s going to be a big challenge and, while I left Rovers on good terms, I’m a Hull player now and that’s all I want to concentrate on. It’s a fresh start for me and I want to make the most of it."