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Aaron Lyons joins Knights as Rhys Clarke exits
THE ins and outs at York City Knights continue apace with Aaron Lyons’ signature now being confirmed by the club while Rhys Clarke is being released.
The Knights also remain hopeful of recruiting Championship aces Andy Bostock and Rob Spicer, although their futures remain up in the air, with the former still in Featherstone’s thinking and the latter having talks with his current club, Dewsbury.
Lyons, though, is now a Knight. The Press revealed on Monday he was joining from Featherstone, along with Tom Carr, and the club have now officially announced his recruitment.
Like full-back Carr, whose arrival was confirmed earlier in the week, Lyons is a reserve at Championship champions Rovers and comes to York to further his chances of first-team action.
The 21-year-old six-footer is a former Bradford academy starlet and, while he is listed as a winger at Post Office Road, is seen as a centre or second-row who will provide competition for places at Huntington Stadium.
Knights general manager Ian Wilson said: “Featherstone wanted to keep him but he felt he wouldn’t get as many first-team opportunities.
“He’s got a great attitude, he’s a good trainer and he’s got good core skills whenever we’ve seen him. He’s big and strong as well and we’ve got decent hopes he will add a lot to our squad.”
Meanwhile, back-rower Clarke could be returning to Gateshead Thunder after being told he would not be offered a new deal at Huntington Stadium.
The Press understands travel expenses from his Tyneside home made the 21-year-old a costlier option than the Knights were prepared to pay, but he goes with good wishes after a committed two-year spell.
He had been signed as a teenager from home-town club Gateshead ahead of the 2011 season by Dave Woods, who had coached him at the Thunder, and went on to play 22 times that year, scoring four tries, and 17 this term, scoring three tries.
He also developed utility value, filling in at hooker and also having a game at scrum-half this year, a try-scoring display in defeat to Featherstone at the start of August – only for the club’s half-back curse to strike him late in the match and end his season due to a broken wrist.
The Geordie had begun this season on form, being voted the Press Player of the Month for February. Wilson said: “For somebody who had to travel near on a 200-mile round trip for training, he’s very seldom missed a session. He’s a very committed player with a great attitude and we wish him all the best.
“He’s still only a young player and he has some good years in front of him.”
The Thunder, meanwhile, were also poised to recruit Benn Hardcastle, the former Knights half-back whose stint at Huntington Stadium in 2011 was curtailed by serious injury.
Hardcastle is a former Hull KR youngster and works as a community coach for the Robins.