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Paul King's abdication mars Knights' strength
KNIGHTS boss Gary Thornton has admitted veteran prop Paul King’s decision not to sign new terms at Huntington Stadium was being keenly felt given the ever decreasing number of fit forwards in the ranks.
Vice-captain Jason Golden, the former Super League second-row, was ruled out of yesterday’s game with Halifax due to a back injury, joining props Luke Stenchion and Matty Nicholson on the sidelines.
Additionally, in-form back-rower Sam Scott left the fray a quarter of the way through yesterday’s game with a back injury and prop Austin Bell also limped off in the second half with a groin problem as well as a bloody nose.
It all meant full-back James Haynes, building his fitness after a year out, had to fill in for part of the match at loose-forward, and it left York grateful to be able to call on dual-reg Hull pair Dean Hadley and Josh Bowden again, otherwise they would have had to dip into the junior ranks to fill the pack.
“It adds to the disappointment of not getting Paul King back,” said Thornton, after revealing the one-time Great Britain prop had asked to be released to play amateur rugby in his home town of Hull.
“I don’t think the offer we made was bad and if he wants to play amateur for nothing, I don’t understand his decision.
“But we don’t want anyone on board who isn’t here for the cause. If he doesn’t want to come, he doesn’t want to come.”
King had missed all of pre-season, with his contract being annulled, but he made himself available at the start of the campaign on the assumption a new deal could be agreed, only to then reject reduced terms.
Thornton added: “We’ve given Paul the opportunity to come back but he’s decided it’s not for him.
“I don’t think anything is going to happen on that front.”
As for Scott, who won the title with Sheffield last year but is now set to miss the match away to the Eagles on Friday night, Thornton said: “He’s been one of our standout performers in the first three games and he was going well again (yesterday). It’s a loss for us. It’s another one to add to that injury list. Hopefully he won’t be out for long.”