WIGAN Warriors have won the race to sign utility forward Sam Hopkins from Leigh Centurions.
Hopkins has penned a two-year deal with an option for a third year and will link-up with his new club for pre-season training in November when his current deal expires.
The addition of Hopkins is hoped to soften the blow of losing Chris Tuson to Wakefield and the former Leigh East amateur was on the radar of at least two other clubs.
“Warriors are the biggest club in Super League and when I learned of their interest in me and the chance to progress my career with them, it was an easy decision to make,” said Hopkins.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I am really looking forward to joining Wigan for the 2014 season.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has played a part in my career to date from my days as an amateur with the Leigh East club to present day.
“I have worked with a fantastic coaching staff and an inspirational group of players at Leigh and I am looking forward to the remainder of the season with the Leigh Centurions.
“I can assure everyone of my ongoing commitment to try and achieve success with them for the remainder of the current season.”
Hopkins currently has nine tries from his 12 Centurions appearances this term and has been a regular in the Leigh side since 2011.
He also has international honours with the Great Britain Community Lions Under-18s.
The addition of Hopkins will add to a new look pack for Wigan as former Welsh rugby union international Andy Powell will be settled into his new surroundings.
And head coach Shaun Wane thinks Hopklins has the attributes to become a key player in what he hopes will be a title defence campaign.
Wane said: “We have been keeping an eye on Sam for a while and have been impressed with what we have seen.
“He is tough and runs hard and I am confident under the guidance of our quality back room staff he has both the ability and passion to become a success as a full time professional.”