Whitehaven land former Wigan academy star Rhys Pugsley

Championship side Whitehaven have secured the signing of former Wigan academy star Rhys Pugsley on a one-year deal.

Pugsley, who made his Wales debut aged just 18, tested positive for steroids in an out-of-competition test in April 2014, and will not be eligible to play for the club until his suspension ends on May 15th this year.

However, he says he’s grateful to Haven for giving him a second chance, and says he’s determined to play both Super League and international rugby in the future after being handed the opportunity to resurrect his career.

“I cannot wait to get out on the pitch for Whitehaven. I know not everyone will support me, but I will be doing my best to prove myself,” he told the club’s official website.

“I am a big, physical lad, and I cannot thank Whitehaven enough for giving me a second chance.

“I am determined to pay them back.”I’m not looking too far into the future, but playing in Super League and for Wales again is my dream.

“I am determined to thank my friends and family, who have been an incredible support during my darkest times, by being the best rugby league player I can be.”

A statement from Whitehaven said: “The decision to sign Rhys was one we thought long and hard about. It was made with rugby in mind.

“Rhys has held his hands up and admitted what he did. He has shown remorse and has served his time.

“We have spoken at length with Rhys and now have the chance to help a young man get his career back on track.”