Prop Harry Kidd, who made a big impression on Hunslet last season while on dual-registration from Halifax, has joined the Parksiders on a one-year deal.
The 24-year-old, who played in seven of Halifax’s Betfred Championship games last year, made a couple of memorable appearances for Hunslet towards the end of the 2019 campaign and Head Coach Gary Thornton said: “I’m really pleased to have captured a player of Harry’s quality.
“He has spent a couple of years in a really good system at Halifax and while at Hunslet impressed everyone with his enthusiasm and his energy levels.
“He would have been with us for more games had a season-ending shoulder injury not curtailed his year.”
Hunslet’s boss added: “He’s come into the group with the same levels of enthusiasm as before, and will be a major part of our pack this season.
“He is a great character and a big voice in the changing rooms already, and has integrated seamlessly into the group.
“He is a modern-day front rower who can do long minutes and adds size and presence. He will do the tough carries, but he has decent handling skills too.
“Defensively he will be aggressive with good line speed and contact.”
Thornton concluded: “Harry had other options to stay in the Championship but was convinced to sign here; he will be a huge asset in our plans for next year.”
Kidd admitted: “I bring a lot of passion to my game, and I like to think I’ve got some ball-handling skills.
“Hopefully I’ll play a pivotal role. I’m a bit of a spiritual leader – I don’t shut up in training – it’s fantastic here, and I can’t grumble.
“Hunslet made a big impression on me when I was here last season and as soon as I received clearance from Halifax I got in touch with Gary Thornton.
“There’s a tremendous vibe in the camp. There’s some superb seasoned professionals around, plus talented young lads who’ve been at such as Bradford and Leeds Academies, who maybe have a point to prove.”
Kidd who is sponsored by Corey Cairns began playing Rugby League via an unusual route. He was born in Headingley but his family moved to Sheffield when he was young and he played rugby union largely because his mates did.
He and his dad remained keen league supporters, however, with both having season tickets at Leeds Rhinos, while all the while Harry progressed nicely in the 15-a-side code as an inside centre, harbouring League ambitions.
He revealed: “I was playing for Yorkshire rugby union when I suffered a shoulder injury. My physio was Andy Barker of Leeds Rhinos and he suggested I go down to Gloucestershire All Golds Rugby League, where I came under the wing of such as Bred Hepi, Scotland coach Steve McCormack and Lee Greenwood.”
He subsequently fetched up at Halifax and he pays tribute to his former club, revealing: “Halifax looked after me very well when I had my shoulder injury last season. I enjoyed my time there but I’m delighted to be at the South Leeds Stadium now, not least because some members of my family hail from Hunslet and Beeston.
“I’m totally focused on helping the side gain promotion from Betfred League 1. The likes of Jack Lee, Duane Straugheir, Josh Tonks, Ben Heaton and Jimmy Watson have renewed their contracts and give us a wealth of experience. And with so many good players also joining the club we can only go in the right direction.
“We should be pushing for promotion next season, and we’re more than capable of achieving our goal.”