Huddersfield Giants have signed Melbourne Storm forward Ryan Hinchcliffe on a three-year contract.
Hinchcliffe, 30, will fly into the UK in late November for pre-season training.
Hinchcliffe made his NRL debut for Canberra Raiders in 2007 before moving to the Storm in 2009. He has also represented NSW Country. He is a member of the Storm leadership group and captained the side in their recent NRL game against Penrith and Giants coach Paul Anderson sees him playing a similar role for Huddersfield.
“This is a huge signing for our club and in truth Ryan has been our number one target to bring in for quite some time now,” said Anderson.
“He is a quality nine but equally at home at loose forward. He has been in one of the best environments in Rugby league at Melbourne for seven years now and is an automatic pick in the side. His defensive efforts are up there with the best and I particularly like what he will bring with his leadership and experience in big games.
“You simply don’t get to lead the Melbourne Storm side out unless you have very special qualities and his NRL record is outstanding. We are looking forward immensely to welcoming him and his family to our club.” Ryan Hinchcliffe commented: “Firstly I want to thank everyone at the Storm from the players and coaches to the fans and especially Craig Bellamy, with whom I have enjoyed some special years.
“My time here has been the best of my life and it was a huge decision we had to make as a family regarding leaving. Huddersfield made their interest known quite some time back and I’ve had a few chats with coach Paul Anderson about the team and what he’s looking for.
“They’ve been close to the top for a few years and I hope that I can help them build on that. It’s a big move for me and the family to a new culture and we hope we can repay Huddersfield’s faith in us. For now my focus is purely on finishing well here at the Melbourne Storm and then the focus will shift to the UK and Huddersfield, where I look forward to the challenges it presents.”