Liam Horne has become the latest Norths Devil to graduate to a fulltime rugby league career with his immediate signing by Castleford Tigers in the UK Super League.
Horne has signed with the Tigers for the remainder of this year and next year, with the UK club also having an option to keep the dynamic forward for the 2025 season.
Horne will arrive in the UK this week, ending a stint with the Devils that has fulfilled all that the club aims to achieve with its players.
Horne first wore a Devil on his chest as a 10-year-old as he moved through the junior system, he won a Colts premiership in 2018 and featured in back-to-back first grade premierships in 2021 and 2022 around his international debut for the PNG Kumuls.
He follows fellow premiership squad members Nene Macdonald (Leeds Rhinos), Michael Molo (St George Illawarra), Jon Reuben (St George Illawarra), Brendan Frei (Brisbane Broncos), Tyrone Roberts (Brisbane Broncos), Danny Levi (Canberra Raiders), Ben Nakubuwai (Leigh Leopards) and Brayden McGrady (Dolphins NRL) to become fulltime players after signing contracts with the Devils in the last two years.
“This is great news for Horney and we’re all very excited to see him earn this recognition,” Devils coach Dave Elliott said.
“We’re a proud pathway club that creates opportunities for our players to go on to the highest level. Horney is the best example we’ll see of that pathway. He came from our junior system into a Colts premiership and then two first-grade premierships while also making his international debut.
“Horney’s story is one that Devils fans should take a lot of pride in. We wish him the very best and know that he will always be a Devil.”
Horne brought up his 50th Hostplus Cup match for the Devils earlier this month before his final game for the club came in trademark fashion – he was named player of the match for a barnstorming performance as the Devils ended Wynnum Manly’s seven-game winning streak.
“This is an exciting time and I’m looking forward to joining Castleford,” Horne said.
“I’ve loved my time with the Devils. I’ll really miss the club and all of the people who have been part of it for many years.
“It’s meant a lot wearing the Devils jersey over many years and I’ll always have fond memories.
“I’m just grateful to everyone at this club who has helped me over the years. It’s been a great club to play for and that’s because of the people here.”
Horne is a qualified electrician but his trade goes on hold while he becomes a fulltime player in the Castleford squad which includes former NRL player Gareth Widdop.
He will arrive in the UK ahead of the Tigers’ clash on Saturday morning (Australian time) with Hull KR featuring Horne’s former Devils teammate Rhys Kennedy.