Leeds Rhinos keen to swoop for Widnes’ England Academy star

Leeds Rhinos are moving in on the signing of England Academy back-rower, Sam Walters from cash-strapped Widnes.

TotalRL understands the Rhinos have held discussions to sign the 6ft 5, 16 stone teenager, who looks likely to become the first player to depart the Vikings since they entered administration last week.

While a deal has not yet been completed, it’s believed a move to the Rhinos looks likely.

Walters was one of several young players to emerge as a star of the future, in England Academy’s excellent Test series victory over Australia Schoolboys at the end of last year, putting in an eye-catching performance at Emerald Headingley Stadium, in the second Test triumph over the young Kangaroos.

Leeds Rhinos will pay a fee to secure his signature, which will help raise funds for the Vikings as they look to avoid liquidation. At the start of the week, the club needed £250,000 to secure survival, but in the last few days, supporters have been able to raise thousands of pounds.

Talks between the administrators and a consortium of local businessmen led by Chris Price, have been ongoing for several days regarding a takeover of the club, although a deal has yet to be struck.

Should a deal not be completed by Thursday, it’s highly likely the club’s game against Featherstone on Sunday will not take place due to insurance costs. However, there is a belief the two parties can come to an agreement in time to ensure the game takes place.