Wigan Warriors confirm the signing of Leigh Utility Forward Sam Hopkins on a Two-Year-Deal for Seasons 2014 and 2015 with a further option for 2016.
The 23 year old will join the Warriors for the start of pre-season in November when his current contract with the Centurions comes to an end.
Sam joined the Centurions from local Amateur Club Leigh East and has been a regular in the side since 2011. He has represented Great Britain Community Lions Under-18's and has the ability to play either at Prop or in the Second Row.
On the addition of Sam to his squad from 2014 onwards, Wigan Warriors Head Coach Shaun Wane said;
"We have been keeping an eye on Sam for a while and have been impressed with what we have seen. He is tough and runs hard and I am confident under the guidance of our quality back room staff he has both the ability and passion to become a success as a full time professional. It is a big step for him to make the move from the Championship but he is very determined and driven and just the sort of player I enjoy working with."
Sam Hopkins commented;
"This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I am really looking forward to joining Wigan for the 2014 season. The Warriors are the biggest Club in Super League and when I learned of their interest in me and the chance to progress my career with them, it was an easy decision to make.
"I'd like to thank everyone who has played a part in my career to date from my days as an amateur with the Leigh East Club to present day working with a fantastic Coaching Staff and an inspirational group of players at Leigh. I am looking forward to the remainder of the season with the Centurions and can assure everyone of my going commitment to try and achieve success with them for the remainder of the current season."
Leigh Centurions Head Coach Paul Rowley added;
"I am delighted to see Sam realise his goal of playing Super League and becoming a full time player. Sam has been very consistent and tireless in his efforts to continuously improve his game, and his ability to absorb information and apply it under pressure is exceptional. I am sure a full time environment will have a huge benefit to Sam progressing physically and mentally thus enabling him to perform in the country's elite competition. I am pleased to have had the pleasure of working closely with Sam from the start of his career and can assure Wigan that they have acquired not only a quality player but more importantly a quality person."
Head Coach Shaun Wane with Sam as he puts pen to paper on his Wigan Contract.
Speaking on the Centurions website,Leigh Centurions Football Director, Derek Beaumont further commented;
"This is a fantastic achievement by Sam and one he fully deserves for his commitment and effort which have been evident during in his time with our club. I believe in a full time environment Sam will progress into a top quality Super League player. What pleases me most is this clearly demonstrates the pathway for our community's young players and identifies the fact we have the right facilities and coaching structures to produce players capable of playing at the highest level. I would like to credit Leigh East for their role in Sams development and also thank them.
"As an ambitious club ourselves going forward it is our goal to be competing for players like Sam and to be able to retain the services of players we develop, however we must accept our current position and build on this to achieve our long term goals. I would also like to thank Wigan for the professional manner in which they have dealt with this matter and wish them every success with Sams further development."
To see an exclusive interview with both Shaun Wane and Sam Hopkins log on to www.wiganwarriors.com/tv