Lewis Hatton only joined Keighley from Widnes in the off-season, but the move has gone so well, he has already pencilled a contract extension with the club, meaning he is staying put until the end of the 2027 season.

Asked by the Keighley News if that was testament to the impact the prop has made on the side already, Cougars head coach Matt Foster said: “It’s a double-edged sword really.

“He’s made a real impression on us certainly, with the character, enthusiasm and energy he’s shown.

“Lewis’ professionalism in his time here has been fantastic too.

“But the fact he’s already signed a new deal, given the short amount of time he’s been here, shows that we’ve impressed on him as a club too.

“Lewis is clearly really enjoying his time here, and we envisage that being a good relationship between ourselves and him for many years to come.”

Keighley News: Matt Foster (right) is delighted to have one of his key forwards committed to the club with a long-term deal.Matt Foster (right) is delighted to have one of his key forwards committed to the club with a long-term deal. (Image: JT Sports Media.)

And Hatton himself has expressed his delight after putting pen-to-paper.

He told the club’s in-house media channels: “I’m really happy to extend my contract here.

“I think we’ve started this year really well, and this is a great club full of great people.

“I’m really happy playing my rugby here, and when you’re happy, that’s when you play at your best.”

He added: “I’ve made it quite obvious that I was quite unhappy for the last couple of years before I arrived here.

“But from the start of pre-season, then the start of the season, how it’s gone has really contributed towards me making the decision to stay on.”

Hatton does not live locally, but he said: “Before I came here, I thought the amount of travel would prove quite difficult.

“But to be honest, it’s quite enjoyable, and we’ve got a good bus, so we have a good laugh on there.

“It’s not been an issue in the end.”