Keighley Cougars can announce the signing of 21 year old Rhino, Luca Atkinson.

Joining Leeds’ scholarship in 2018, he made an impact among the scholarship coaches. A year later, he played every game for coach Mark Butterill, scoring his only try against Bradford Bulls at Emerald Headingley Stadium. He made his first academy appearance at the stadium too, starting in the post season friendly against NSW Country Rugby League.

Making the step up to the Academy in 2020, Atkinson was part of the biggest cohort of players signed for the Under-19s by the club. He started in wins over Newcastle and Bradford before the league was shutdown by Covid. A year later, he was an integral forward for coach Chev Walker as he made nine appearances and scored one try.

He battled injury for most of the 2022 season, making his sole appearance in a 54-4 win over Newcastle in the Reserves competition.

Atkinson played the majority of his junior rugby at West Bowling, notably winning the Division One title in 2019. That year, the forward also earned his first international call up to the England Youth squad and ran out in the win over Wales.

Jake Webster, Director of Rugby said “We are delighted to secure the services of young Luca for the remainder of the season. He is a player for the future and gives us a chance to have a look at good lads from great systems to build on in the coming seasons. He comes with good references and we are looking forward to see him rip into training.”

Luca joins ex team mate Joe Hird as we look to build on the remainder of the Championship season.