Barrow Raiders were given the unexpected bonus of the signing of centre Perry Singleton from Cumbrian rivals Workington Town after what rugby director Andy Gaffney described as ‘one of the quickest deals we’ve ever done’.

It is a move back to his hometown for Singleton, who began his career with amateur club Barrow Island, after work commitments would have made travelling up the coast to train with Town more difficult.

He was released by the Derwent Park club yesterday as a result, with Barrow moving quickly to make him their fourth new signing for the 2020 season, after front rows Connor Terrill, Carl Forster and Lew Jewitt.

Gaffney said: “He’s a local lad who had a great career at Barrow Island, where his brother played as well.

“It’s just came really quick, really. Obviously, his work’s changed now and he was going to find it harder to travel up there and it was just out of the blue.

“We never expected it to come along at all and the deal was done within a matter of hours and for us it is a fantastic signing. He won numerous Man of the Match awards last year for Workington and was their top try scorer. He’s a top drawer player.”

Singleton may not be the only member of his family on the move, with his older brother Brad widely expected to sign for Super League new boys Toronto Wolfpack from Leeds Rhinos.

Like Brad, Singleton started out at Barrow Island, where he earned numerous representative honours, including captaining Cumbria’s open age team and touring South Africa with the BARLA Lions in 2015.

He made the step up into the professional game with Town for the 2017 season and mainly operated from the second row in his debut campaign, which ended in him winning the club’s Coaches Player of the Year award.

After an injury-hit 2018, Singleton had a superb season in League One this year, scoring 12 tries in 20 league appearances, while also coming up against his brother in a Challenge Cup tie at Headingley back in April.

Gaffney said: “Like I said, it was totally out of the blue and the deal was done within a matter of hours - it was probably one of the quickest deals we’ve ever done, to be honest.

“He just came over for a chat, we went for a coffee and then it was done and dusted. He scores tries for fun and he’s tough, very tough, on the field as well - he doesn’t take a backward step at all.

“From what I know of him, he trains really well and he’s really dedicated and I hope we can give him the platform to show us what his talent is.”