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Wings next up for recruitment at York City Knights
11:55am Friday 21st September 2012 in Sport
YORK City Knights will make wingers their next recruitment priority for 2013 – though the mooted partnership with Hull FC could well provide a solution.
There are so far 18 players confirmed in the new-look Knights squad under incoming coach Gary Thornton, but among them are no half-backs, out-and-out loose-forwards, or wingers.
The Knights have also lost one of their future stars as under-18s prop Liam Ellis, who made three first-team appearances at the end of this season, becoming the club’s youngest-ever player in the process, has joined Sheffield. The fact the Eagles will have an U19s academy next year – one of few clubs outside Super League to afford one – played a part in the Wakefield College youngster’s switch.
The Press understands the playmaking question is soon to be answered, with the Knights set to announce the capture of two half-backs, with Sheffield’s goalkicking star, Simon Brown, almost certainly one of them and another believed to be former Huntington Stadium scrum-half Jonny Presley, on his return from a year in Australia.
Who plays lock is also to be decided but irons are in the fire, while there is always the option of using a prop in that role.
The lack of wingers signed up, however, is yet to be circumvented.
The planned arrangement with Hull – which could see a stack of the Super League club’s fringe players signed on dual-registrations or long loans – could provide some answers, with the likes of former Knight Tom Lineham and Jack Briscoe, who are still developing top-flight careers, among the candidates for short-term switches.But the Knights are on the hunt for their own – permanent – outside-backs to complement the four centres already signed up.
General manager Ian Wilson said: “We are on the look-out for wingers and we will sign some.”
The Press understands the Knights are ready to announce up to four notable new signings in the next week or so, with Brown unlikely to be the only recruit from play-off contenders Sheffield.
The reported link-up with Hull could also soon be formally agreed, although it is understood the parties are awaiting affirmation from the Rugby Football League, while any detailed announcement will only happen once Hull are knocked out of the Super League play-offs and begin preparing in earnest for next season.
Players so far contracted to the Knights for 2013 are listed below
Full-backs: James Haynes, Tom Carr.
Centres: James Ford, Jon Goddard, Aaron Lyons, Gareth Poutney.
Hookers: Jack Lee, Kriss Brining, Harry Carter.
Props: Adam Sullivan, Paul King, Jack Aldous, Nathan Freer, Tim Stubbs.
Second-rows: Jason Golden, Ed Smith, Joe Hemmings, Tyler Craig.
• Hooker Pat Smith has signed a new one-year deal at Sheffield.
The Dringhouses youngster, who studies in Sheffield, has played 21 games for the club since joining from Hull Academy two seasons ago. The Irish international is big brother to Knights second-row Ed.