YORK City Knights begin 2013 with a squad of 30 players, although several have been earmarked for under-20s action this year.

Gary Thornton’s Championship squad is being augmented, however, by dual-registration signings from Super League club Hull FC, with whom the Knights have entered into partnership. A dozen players are on such forms, though that number could go up or down at any point.

The York-Hull link-up is one of several partnership agreements between Championship and Super League clubs allowed under new Rugby Football League rules.

Clubs can share best practice and facilities behind the scenes, while any number of players can be dual-registered between the teams.

Partnership agreements do not prevent Championship clubs from loaning or dual-registering a player from another Super League outfit, however.

Any dual-reg player who is not involved in their Super League team on a weekend can be made available to the Championship side, although a maximum of five borrowed players can play in any one match.

It remains to be seen how dual-reg works in practice this year – and how big a step it is towards the much-maligned ‘feeder club’ system – and which, if any, Hull players will become regulars at Huntington Stadium.

Here, PETER MARTINI has a look at the players York have already signed on dual-reg from Hull, and the odds of seeing them regularly at Huntington Stadium.

Josh Bowden
Date of birth: 14/1/92
Position: prop 
Sixth or seventh choice prop at Hull so an injury or two could shift him into their first team. He’ll want to push for a place anyway but might have to do that by impressing for the Knights.
Hull appearances 2012: 0+7 as sub.
Prospects of York seeing much of him in 2013: 8/10

Jack Briscoe
Dob: 25/10/91
Position: winger
Former England schoolboy wants to follow big brother Tom into Hull’s first-team ranks and doing that via a stint in the Championship is one of the reasons the dual-reg system was brought in.

Hull appearances 2012: 0.
York prospects 2013: 9/10

Jason Crookes
Dob: 21/4/90
Position: winger/centre
Signed from Bradford for Hull’s first team so unlikely to spend much time at York. Then again, who knows? A surprise inclusion on the dual-reg list but faces competition for places at the KC Stadium. 

Hull appearances 2012: n/a. 
York prospects 2013: 2/10

Ben Crooks
Dob: 15/6/93
Position: centre
Son of GB legend and former York Wasps coach Lee, the goal-kicking teenager burst onto the scene last year to win Hull’s Young Player of the Year award. Still faces a fight to be a first-choice there, though, with squads fitter and fresher as the new season kicks off.

Hull appearances 2012: 16 (7 tries). 
York prospects 2013: 5/10

Chris Green
Dob: 3/1/90
Position: prop
Successful dual-reg spell at York helped 6ft 5in forward earn Super League experience last year after they suffered injuries. Like Bowden, he probably starts 2013 back as sixth or seventh choice prop but injury to Liam Watts has already shifted him closer to their first team, especially if the Airlie Birds want a front-rower as 18th or 19th man. Who’s to say he won’t keep his place if he does get a shirt.

Hull appearances 2012: 0+11 (2 tries).
York prospects 2013: 6/10

Dean Hadley
Dob: 5/8/92
Position: back-row
One of the names linked with dual-reg from the outset of Hull’s partnership with York as he continues on a pathway to a career with the club in Super League.

Hull appearances 2012: 0.
York prospects 2013: 9/10

Liam Kent
Dob: 9/4/91
Position: back-row
Injuries gave him an opportunity last season but he begins 2013 down Hull’s pecking order, especially as he starts this year on the sidelines due to injury. He will probably need to work his way back into contention at the KC Stadium and it may take him time at York to do that.

Hull appearances 2012: 0+7.
York prospects 2013: 7/10

Tom Lineham
Dob: 21/9/91
Position: winger
The former York City Knights flier – he began his rugby league adventure while at
York College – has size and speed to make it in Super League but is still developing. Knights fans would love to have him back for the full year, but he’s got enough in his locker to push for a first-team spot at the KC.
Hull appearances 2012: 4+1 (4 tries).
York prospects 2013: 7/10

Danny Nicklas
Dob: 29/6/91
Position: half-back
Impressed in a brief dual-reg stint at York last year and the Knights, needing another option at half-back/loose-forward/ hooker, were delighted to get him on what was first reported as a long loan but is ostensibly dual-reg, with Hull able to recall him at any point. The Airlie Birds have plenty of pivots so Championship rugby at Huntington Stadium is a good option for Nicklas to keep himself in good form for if and when another Super League opportunity comes his way back at the KC.

Hull appearances 2012: 2+8
York prospects 2013: 9/10

Jay Pitts
Dob: 9/2/89
Position: prop
Former Wakefield youngster was a Super League regular last year after joining Hull from Leeds and, with Liam Watts starting the season on the sidelines, he is sure to begin as one of their big four. His chances of coming to York could depend on whether Watts, or the likes of Bowden or Green, displace him.

Hull appearances 2012: 22
York prospects 2013: 2/10

Jamie Shaul
Dob: 1/7/92
Position: full-back
Hull’s U20s Young Player of the Year can catch the eye – like he did against York in pre-season – but is still developing his all-round game. Hull don’t want to let him leave the club, but he’s one of those players they probably think isn’t quite ready for regular top-tier action.

Hull appearances 2012: 0
York prospects 2013: 8/10

Liam Watts
Dob: 8/7/90
Position: prop
Will want to be one of Hull’s front-line props but out with broken thumb. Hull may want him to have game-time at York before going into their first team – but would such an arrangement, giving a player a hit-out or two for Hull’s benefit, be good for the Knights? That is one of the questions the dual-reg system still has to answer.

Hull appearances 2012: 12 (1 try)
York prospects 2013: 2/10