Rochdale Hornets have signed 22-year-old forward Danny Jones, who was recently released by Barrow Raiders.
Jones, who has played over 50 games for the Cumbrians in a two and a half year stint, is a former St Helens junior who turned down a full-time contract at St Helens following a stint in the Youth and Academy teams in order to play regular first-grade rugby.
Hornets coach Ian Talbot tried to sign Jones in the off-season before he chose to stay loyal to the Raiders.
But a change in personal circumstances for Jones meant he was finding it difficult to commute to Barrow three times a week.
“Danny’s partner is expecting so he needs to find himself a full time job closer to home and traveling to Barrow three times a week was tough for him,” said Talbot.
“I spoke to him in the off-season and at that point he took up another year at Barrow and I understood his reasons why.
“I was a bit gutted, as what you get with Danny is a hardworking, honest middle man who will do the hard yards and big tackle numbers in defence.
“He is quality will give us a big boost for the run in and with the loss of the likes of Sam Brooks, Richard Beaumont, Tony Suffolk and Anthony Walker for the rest of the season he will add some depth to our pack options.”
Jones is excited by the prospect of joining Hornets.
“I’m looking forward to a new challenge,” he said.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Barrow and it has been an experience working with Muzz (Anthony Murray), Bobbie (Goulding) and Cresta (Paul Crarey).
“When I came to the end of my contract at Saints I just wanted to get some senior rugby under my belt and develop as a player, and Barrow helped me do that.
“At the moment though things in my life are changing and I wanted to be closer to home and get myself sorted away from rugby.
“Rochdale was the obvious choice as Tol (Ian Talbot) has worked with me before at Saints and I came through the age-groups with Jordan Case and I know James Dandy from my time at Barrow, so I know I’ll feel comfortable.
“I’d like to thank everyone at Barrow for understanding and agreeing to a release and I’m just looking forward to getting my head down and enjoying my rugby.”