Hull FC move to sign Leeds Rhinos forward Jay Pitts

Hull FC have signed Leeds Rhinos forward Jay Pitts on a free transfer.

The 22-year-old prop or back-row forward has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract and could make his debut in the cross-city derby against Hull Kingston Rovers on 6 April.

Pitts told the club website:external-link "Leeds is a massive club but Hull FC feels just as big if not bigger.

"The city is the only place where rugby is bigger than football and it feels like a really great club to be at."

Pitts, who has made 41 Super League appearances, joined Leeds from Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in 2009 and signs a week after the Black and Whites secured the services of his former Headingley team-mate Gareth Ellis for the 2013 season.

He added: "I've got very high expectations of myself. I want to be playing in finals and playing for my country and I think I can achieve all that here which is why I wanted to come.

"It's all happened very quickly, but when the opportunity came up I jumped at the chance and hopefully I'll be here until the end of my career."

Hull FC coach Peter Gentle added: "Jay was firmly on our radar for next year and a player we had earmarked to look at, but with our current injury situation, missing the likes of [Mark] O'Meley, [Joe] Westerman, [Sam] Moa and [Mike] Burnett, we felt it was a good time to explore his availability at this stage in the season.

"Whilst he's known predominantly as an edge back rower, he can actually play at prop as well and that is where we anticipate using him.

"He is a skilful player, he is strong, has a good work ethic and there isn't one person who has a bad word to say about him so he is exactly the kind of the quality character we want at this club."