Red Devils snare Jones-Bishop
Salford Red Devils have won the race for the signature of Leeds Rhinos winger or full-back Ben Jones-Bishop who will join them on a three-year contract from 2015.
The Red Devils have acted quickly to secure the prized services of the 25-year-old England Knights player, who is out of contract with the Rhinos at the end of the season and rejected their offer of a new deal.
Leeds' revelation at the weekend that Jones-Bishop was up for grabs sparked a flurry of activity and Salford owner Marwan Koukash is delighted to pull off a second major capture for coach Iestyn Harris in just over a fortnight following the signing of New Zealand full-back Kevin Locke.
"He was another player identified by Iestyn," Koukash said. "He is one of the missing pieces in the jigsaw.
"There was a lot of interest but we talked to Ben about our ambitions and luckily he believes in our vision. He's very excited about joining our future plans."
Jones-Bishop lost his place at Leeds at the start of the season to new signing Tom Briscoe but on a rare outing took his try total to 53 in 76 games with two touchdowns in last Thursday's 22-14 win at Castleford Tigers.
He made his debut for the Rhinos in 2008 and played in the 2011 and 2012 Grand Final wins as well as winning the World Club Challenge in 2012.
Locke, the New Zealand Warriors full-back, will join Salford along with Jones-Bishop in November and Koukash, who provided the cash for 14 new signings in the close season, says he has not finished yet.
"We maybe need two or three more quality players but we will not sign players just for the sake of it," he said. "We have a lot of quality players already and we are not a million miles away.
"Maybe we have not got the strength in depth yet but we will have and I hope the people of Salford will see that we mean business and vote with their feet."
Salford have been linked with Jones-Bishop's former Leeds team-mate Weller Hauraki, who is now at Castleford.
Koukash had set a top-six target for last year's wooden spoonists at the start of the year but Salford are currently sitting in 11th place after taking just a point from their last four matches under Harris, who succeeded Brian Noble two months ago, and are out of the Challenge Cup.
Harris said: "Ben Jones-Bishop is somebody who I've admired over the past few years and I don't think I'm on my own in saying that.
"He will be another terrific signing for this club. We are making signings that will add an extra dimension next season and we look forward to working with him when he joins us after the current season finishes."