Vickery pens Rhinos contract

Leeds Rhinos have signed utility back Joe Vickery on a one-year contract following a successful trial at Headingley.

The Super League champions were keen to bolster their back options during the close season despite the arrival of Australian centre Joel Moon.

Leeds brought in Vickery for a three-month trial in November, but following his double in their Boxing Day success over the Wakefield Wildcats they have now secured his signature.

The former St George Illawarra junior scored 17 tries for Gold Coast Titans' feeder club Tweed Heads last season, although he wanted to try his hand in Super League.

"It was my ambition to earn a contract with the club when I came over here and I backed myself to do that so I am delighted to have signed for the season," he told the club's official website.

"It was a gamble to move here on a trial and away from everything I knew in Australia but the hard work has been worth it and I am pleased with my decision.

"I really enjoyed my first run out against Wakefield and the crowd and atmosphere at the Stadium was fantastic. I know there is still a lot of work to do and I want to prove I can step up and play in the Super League and I am really looking forward to getting out there again and the start of the season."

Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington has backed the 23-year-old to grasp his opportunity with both hands.

"He has got a lot of qualities and a real hunger, determination and ambition," Hetherington told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

"We've been impressed with Joe right from day one, with his attitude, his commitment and enthusiasm.

"He has shown a great work ethic. He didn't start playing rugby league until quite late, but he adapted very quickly to the game.

"He has got a lot of talent and has been looking for the right opportunity. That's now been provided and I think he'll fully justify our confidence in him."