Highly regarded half back Josh Woods will be a Newcastle Thunder player from 2021, as the 23-year-old moves to Kingston Park Stadium on a two-year deal.

A stand-out and exciting young talent, Woods came through the junior ranks at Leigh East, before graduating through Wigan’s academy.

Making his first-team debut for the Warriors in 2017 against Salford Red Devils, Woods has played 13 first-team games for Wigan in the top flight and almost 50 Betfred Championship matches for Swinton and Leigh.

It is at the Centurions where he has shone whilst on loan from the Warriors since 2019 and shown himself to be a classy half-back who can read games well.

Described by Leigh head coach John Duffy as like a young Lee Briers, Woods attention to detail and discipline in attack combines with a kicking game that works of either foot to make him a quality addition to Thunder’s ranks.

Relishing the challenge ahead, Woods said: “I’m delighted too have signed a two year deal with a club like Newcastle that has big ambition and has massive goals for the future. I can’t wait to start and look forward too being on the journey starting from now.

“The excitement and buzz around the club was a massive bonus for me and the enthusiasm too succeed is huge from everyone here.

“The ambition of Eamon and Dennis was refreshing and aims for the future was a massive draw for me and I can’t wait too get started and prove what I can do again after a weird year for everyone.”

Director of rugby Denis Betts said: “Josh is an experienced, Championship half who wants to establish himself and develop as a player.

“He is 23 and is an ambitious lad and fits in with our plans as a club. He has come through a great academy setup, has a great kicking game and is great in defence and has shown strongly for Leigh whilst on loan.”

“I’m looking forward to him joining up with us for the new season.”

Woods joins Harry Aldous, Connor Bailey, Bob Beswick, Joe Brown, Rhys Clarke, Alex Clegg, Reece Dean, Alex Donaghy, Kieran Gill, Ollie Gowing, Evan Hodgson, Kieran Hudson, Jack Johnson, Samy Kibula, Liam McAvoy, Colton Roche, Evan Simons, Cian Tyrer, Calum Turner, Nathan Wilde, Sam Wilde, Mikey Wood, Matty Wright & Lewis Young in the squad for the 2021 season.