Melbourne Storm has bolstered its outside backs stocks with the signing of speedster Jeremy Hawkins from Canberra Raiders.

Hawkins, who has agreed to terms for two years, will join Storm next Monday and look to secure a starting position in the centres or on the wing in Storm’s 2016 line-up.

Having taken up league at 14, Hawkins represented New Zealand at 15 and was part of Storm’s scholarship program, before joining the Raiders NYC team in 2012.

Hawkins, 22, made his NRL debut in 2014 playing four NRL games with Canberra and heads to Melbourne searching for more first grade opportunities and the chance to be mentored by Head Coach Craig Bellamy, who is renowned for turning young players into regular NRL players.

Melbourne Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi said, “We are thrilled to have Jeremy join the Club, we have followed his progress for some time and it’s great to have him agree to terms with Storm.

“Having lost some players in the outside backs position, we’ve been on the look-out for a player that can bolster our stocks in that area and we believe Jeremy can have an immediate impact.

“Jeremy’s strength is his speed and powerful ball running ability and he will benefit enormously from spending time with and learning from the likes of the experienced Billy Slater and Will Chambers.”

The first group of players returned to pre-season training on Monday. Fullback Billy Slater leads the way and has been joined by recruits Matt White, Cheyse Blair and Curtis Scott as well as Slade Griffin, Joe Stimson, Tony Tumusa and Suliasi Vunivalu. The next group of players commence training on Monday 9 November.