Swinton Lions say that hooker Liam Hood has joined Leigh Centurions – which has allowed them to act swiftly and replace him with Bradford hooker Vila Halafihi.
Halafihi has joined the Lions on a season-long loan from the Bulls, after the Lions confirmed Hood’s departure to the Centurions.
In a statement on their website, they said:
“We have moved swiftly to sign the Bradford Bulls’ hooker Vila Halafihi on a season-long loan deal, following Liam Hood’s departure to Leigh today.
“Liam exercised a clause in his contract which allowed him to move to a full-time professional environment should the opportunity arise.
“22 years old Vila Halafihi is highly regarded by the Bulls’ coach James Lowes and he recently signed an extended contract with them, but such is the strength of their squad that he faced the prospect of insufficient game-time in the immediate future. However, following the departure of Liam Hood, the Bulls’ hooker represents an ideal replacement, and we’re grateful to the Bradford management for agreeing the loan.
“Vila came through the academy system at Leeds before enjoying a spell with Penrith Panthers in their reserve grade. He returned to Yorkshire last year and played 6 times for the Bulls in the Championship. This season he has appeared in pre-season games against Leeds and Castleford.
“Vila is a tremendous prospect and is sure to be a great favourite with Lions’ fans.”