Leigh Centurions have announced that Matthew Sarsfield has signed a two-year full-time contract with the club, commencing in December 2014.
The 22-year-old back rower has impressed in his first season with his hometown club, scoring five tries in 14 appearances.
After emerging through the ranks of Leigh Miners Rangers, Sarsfield originally signed for Wigan Warriors, playing for them at scholarship level before progressing through their Under-18s and Under-20s teams.
At the end of the 2010 season, Sarsfield was named in the England Academy squad that defeated the Australian Schoolboys in two Tests played at Leigh Sports Village. England’s youngsters became the first since 2002 to defeat their Australian counterparts in a series with two outstanding displays.
Leigh Centurions head coach Paul Rowley said: “Matt came to us having been in good environments without being centre stage in any of them. He has a lot of talent and has progressed considerably during his time with us.
“His wholehearted approach to the game and to training is second to none and he is a big part of the good culture we have at the Club. He is a top lad and I am delighted he has extended his stay with us.”
Head of Rugby Derek Beaumont added: “Matt is the kind of player that reinforces my beliefs in Paul Rowley. Having been around Super League clubs and a top level academy set-up Paul seems to have developed Matt further than others before him. I am confident he can ensure Matt reaches his true potential of being a Super League player. He has age on his side and is a solid pro’. I believe that he is another player that will benefit from being in a full-time environment.”