York City Knights sign Championship-winning forward

First published in Sport

YORK City Knights have pulled off a notable coup by bringing Championship-winning forward Colton Roche to Huntington Stadium, The Press can reveal.

The 20-year-old has agreed terms until the end of the season after being released by Championship big-guns Featherstone, and he will almost certainly go straight into the squad that takes on arch-rivals Hunslet in a top-of-the-table Championship One clash on Sunday.

Roche, an Ireland international, came through the ranks at hometown club Leeds Rhinos before moving to Championship champions Sheffield for the 2013 season and making 19 appearances as the Eagles retained their title. He made the move to Featherstone in the winter but struggled to nail down a first-term berth and, after the recent departure of head coach John Bastian, he too was shown the exit door at Post Office Road.

Knights boss Gary Thornton, though, reckons Featherstone's loss is York's gain.

The Press revealed this week the club had "irons in the fire" and Thornton at the time said the player in their sights was of "Championship quality, ability and pedigree".

The club have needed to bolster their back-row options due to Jason Golden's ongoing shoulder problem, plus the injuries suffered on Sunday by key loose-forward Lee Paterson and utility packman Jack Iley.

Roche is seen as predominantly a second-row or prop but has also previously turned out at centre and could be asked to fill Paterson's boots at loose-forward in the next few weeks.

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