DUAL-REG duo Jordan Walne and Josh Johnson will not be available for York City Knights for the rest of the League One season after parent club Hull KR offloaded them to Leigh Centurions.

Walne, Johnson and Will Dagger, who has also played four times for York this term, have all joined the Championship big guns on loan until the end of the season in a deal which sees Ben Crooks and Craig Hall move the other way.

Both Walne and Johnson starred in the Knights’ top-of-the-table victory at leaders Bradford Bulls last Sunday, the latter scoring the opening try of the 30-28 win, and their move to the North West appears a blow as the title race hots up.

They had been eligible for York for the rest of term having made the requisite five DR appearances before the July 15 cut-off date. Full-back Dagger would not have been eligible having played only four times.

The switches come 24 hours before this season’s transfer deadline.

It is unclear if fellow dual-reg star Matty Marsh, who starred at full-back against the Bulls, is also set for a temporary move away from Hull KR.

The Knights nevertheless seem well covered in the middle unit.

Prop Chris Siddons departed a month ago but the club recently made stellar signings in Joel Edwards, the former NRL pack man who is poised to make his debut against Coventry on Sunday, and Leeds Rhinos pair Jack Ormondroyd and Josh Jordan-Roberts.

Colton Roche also remains on an extended loan from Huddersfield, and Rory Dixon has been recalled from his loan at Hemel.

Ronan Dixon, Adam Robinson and Dan Hawksworth were all also left out of the 17 at Bradford, while skipper Tim Spears and player/assistant-coach Graeme Horne offer plenty of experience.