OTLEY have signed Ilkley skipper Elliot Morgan.

Although they recognise the centre’s attacking abilities, the National League Two North side are also looking to him to shore up their midfield when they don’t have the ball.

Otley’s director of rugby Charlie Maunder said: “I am excited to see what he can do and he will add to our defensive grunt.

“We have a very potent back line but sometimes we left holes through the middle last season and let in a few soft tries.”

Maunder added: “It is a step up of one division to Level Four for Elliot and there are no guarantees, but there is a shirt for him to claim for the season – No 13.

“Elliot attended one training session with us before making up his mind and it is up to him to fit in with the lads.

“He will join former Ilkley players in Josh Hall and Ben Magee but although we want him to be a leader he will have to step back from being a captain.

“We have also re-signed Henry Roberts, who has joined us from Rotherham, and our attacking backs look tantalising.”

Morgan, 24, said: “It was a really tough decision to leave Ilkley, where I have been since I was 17, and it took me two or three weeks to make my mind up, but it will be good to join up with Ben and Josh again and I am really looking forward to it.”

Ironically, Morgan’s first game in an Ilkley shirt could be against his former club at Stacks Field in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, August 17, while he could face his brother Aaron when Otley host Bradford & Bingley in another friendly the following Saturday, also at 3pm.

The derbies continue when the league season starts as Otley’s opener is at Wharfedale on Saturday, September 14 (3pm) followed by a home match against Huddersfield the Saturday after (2.30pm).

The only departure for Otley from last season’s squad is Yorkshire tight-head prop Laurence Sanderson, who has returned to Huddersfield, and Maunder said: “We are looking for a prop replacement.”