BOSS Will Croker hailed the impact made by Harry Leadbeater and said: “He has gone on another level.”

The Lions lock, who joined from Dorset Dockers in the summer, has battled his way into Croker’s starting XV since the start of December.

He has impressed in helping Bournemouth continue their push for the South West Premier title.

Lions are currently 11 points clear of Barnstaple with eight games of their season remaining.

And Croker, who is also the club’s director of rugby, believes there is a lot more to come from the talented forward.

He told the Times: “Harry got his shot and we tried to manage him in the right way in that we didn’t just want to throw him in.

“He did 30 minutes off the bench for the first two weeks and 40 for his third game – that was against Maidenhead in our only loss. They were a big physical pack and I think it taught Harry what needed to be expected.

“Since then it’s like he has gone on another level. He feels comfortable with the physicality, his work-rate is incredibly high and is becoming more dynamic as a line-out jumper.

“He is very lucky we have good lifters but because of his size and athletic prowess, we get him so high and he has been a real find for us.

“He is a young man in his first season at this level. He is going to learn a lot more from the losses we have in the future than all of the praise he is getting at the minute.

“But he is going to be a sensational rugby player.”

Croker had consulted Tim Flower from Dockers about Leadbeater, having first spotted him at a Dorset & Wilts trial.

And he admitted he secured the services of the second-row star in a different style to the norm last summer.

“I was driving to pick my kids up from school and Harry lives just at the end of the road. I happened to see him walking down the road, so I pulled over and jumped out,” said Croker.

“I think he was a bit surprised and shocked. It’s not often you get a six-foot six bloke dive out of a car at you!”

After a weekend off from first-team action, Lions are set to make the trip to 12th-place Cleve on Saturday.