KEIGHLEY Cougars have gone Down Under to complete a hat-trick of new recruits.

Australian Jacob Thomas, a utility who can play at full-back or in the halves, and joins Cougars on a one-year deal from Queensland-based club side Normanby Hounds.

The 25-year-old arrives from his home of Indooroopilly on the back of six years playing for sides in various rugby league competitions around the sunshine state.

The Queensland native arrives in the United Kingdom in late November, where he will be taking a job as a teacher in Leeds following the completion of his degree back home, before joining up with his teammates for pre-season training in December.

He said: “I am very excited for the upcoming season.

“I arrive in the United Kingdom in November on an ancestry visa to begin my teaching career and I’m looking forward to resuming my professional career in a new and exciting environment.

“I am a highly motivated and passionate player with a personal goal of playing Super League in the next four years.”

Thomas began his career at the Hounds as a junior before moving onto Wests Brisbane Panthers where as a youngster he represented the club at Under-18s level in the Mal Meninga Cup and finished the 2012 season as the clubs top point’s scorer in the Hastings Deering Colts Challenge.

After leaving the Panthers, Thomas joined Ipswich Jets where he would spend two seasons before returning to Normanby.

Upon his return to the Hounds, he would continue to impress and his performances in 2015 saw him finish the season as the Brisbane Premier Division’s leading points scorer before being crowned the competition’s player of the year at just 21 years of age.

2015 also saw Thomas finish as the Hounds leading try scorer and top points scorer and he would continue his impressive form over the next two seasons, finishing 2016 again as both leading try and points scorer before just making it a hat-trick of try scorer accolades in 2017.

In 2016, the personal accolades just kept coming for Jacob as he was awarded the Brisbane Rugby League A-Grade Normanby Hounds Player of the Year award.

He would move on to the Eastern Suburb Tigers in the Queensland Cup, the NRL’s secondary competition, at the start of 2018 but was forced to leave the club and return to the Hounds due to work based around the final year of his university degree.

But the season finished with the utility back continuing to fill the trophy cabinet but on a team scale as the Normanby club was crowned the Brisbane Northside 1 Premiers with Thomas himself winning the clubs best and fairest player award.

Thomas comes to the club having spent the past two seasons at the Hounds playing under Tony Currie, the former Canterbury, Brisbane, Leeds, Queensland and Australia player and former London Broncos head coach.