Bradford Bulls have announced the signing of international star James Mendeika.
The 23-year-old utility talent has agreed a deal which will keep him at the Provident Stadium, Odsal, until at least the end of the 2017 season.
Mendeika, a former Warrington Wolves Academy player, arrives with immediate effect from the Bradford’s Kingstone Press Championship rivals, Featherstone Rovers, having previously enjoyed spells with Leigh Centurions, Swinton Lions and London Broncos.
He played a key role in Ireland’s 2013 World Cup campaign, lining up at full-back and stand-off in games against England, Australia and Fiji, though the Manchester-born player has also featured at centre and on the wing.
Mendeika has described the move as a “massive opportunity”, insisting he is relishing the prospect of lining up in Bulls colours.
“I am absolutely over the moon to be joining Bradford, I feel extremely privileged and cannot wait to get going,” he said.
“It is great to be back within a full-time environment and I am looking forward to repaying the faith the club has shown in me.
“James Lowes being here as head coach was a massive part of me agreeing to come here. He played a massive part in the club’s 10 years of success and I am sure he will do the same again over the next 10 years.
“He is a great coach and I am excited to be working under him again, he will really develop my game.
“I would like to think I can bring pace and skill to the team. I have enjoyed training so far and am looking forward to ripping in again from Monday.
“I am looking to earn my stripes and force my way into the team. I want to achieve big things here and I believe I am capable of doing so.
“I came here because I believe in the direction the club is heading in. Where the Bulls might well be in a couple of years’ time excites me and I want to be a part of it.”
Bradford boss Lowes gave Mendeika his first-ever taste of big-time rugby league during his time in charge of Warrington.
Lowes tossed the impressive back into pre-season action against Wigan Warriors some seven years ago and has been impressed by his progress since.
“James is a very talented, up and coming player and we are pleased to have secured his services,” added the Bulls chief.
“I had him at Warrington and was very impressed with what he had to offer then.
“Injuries have set him back a little over the past couple of years but he has a long career ahead and he is certainly looking to make a name for himself here.
“He has trained once with the boys this week and I am sure he will settle in well.”