HOMEGROWN former fan favourite Kriss Brining will NOT be returning to York City Knights, The Press understands.

The 24-year-old hooker, who came through the ranks at York before joining Salford two years ago, is currently a free agent after being released by the Red Devils this week following a season stuck in the treatment room.

He scored 45 tries in 45 appearances in his last two years with the Knights and supporters would love to see him return. The club remain in the hunt for another hooker, too, following Andy Ellis' retirement, with head coach James Ford having regularly said he wants to have three competing for the two interchange places.

However, due to his impressive first campaign in Super League, The Press believes Brining is set to remain in the full-time arena either with another top-flight club or at a moneybags top-end Championship outfit - with the part-time Knights priced out of the market, regardless of their promotion to the second tier.

Ford - who helped to bring the Scarborough-born acting-half through the ranks at York - said of the prospect of his return: "Kriss is really well-thought of at York on and off the field. He conducted himself superbly when he was here and if the opportunity arose for us to bring him back I would certainly explore it.

"I think everyone in the city would welcome him back with open arms.

"But Kriss has got his own ambitions and, as much as he's got a soft spot for York, he has to do what's best for him."

He added: "I'm really happy with the two hookers we've got (Will Jubb and Harry Carter). I believe they can kick on and reach higher levels."

Brining scored five tries in 24 appearances for Salford in 2017 but missed all of 2018 due to a neck injury. He has been passed fit now to kickstart his career in pre-season.

Salford boss Ian Watson was sorry to see Brining depart, telling the Red Devils' website: “It was an extremely tough decision to let Kriss go.

"Kriss was one of my first signings and I’d have loved to have continued our journey together. I’m still of the opinion that Kriss has the potential to go far in the game.

“I’m hopeful that we can work together again in the future and this is something I’ve discussed with Kriss. Hopefully he gets his career back up and running but due to current circumstances we were unable to offer Kriss a deal for next season.

“We already have three hookers signed up for the 2019 season and with Kriss still trying to overcome a long-term injury we came to the decision to let Kriss go which wasn’t easy for us.”

* VETERAN former Knights half-back Danny Brough has rejoined Wakefield Trinity on a two-year deal after leaving Huddersfield.

The 35-year-old, who was propelled into Super League after a stellar record-breaking season at York in 2004, has been with the Giants for the past eight seasons.

He previously played for Hull, kicking the winning points for the Airlie Birds in the 2005 Challenge Cup final, and Castleford, helping the Tigers win promotion back to Super League in 2007, prior to his first spell with Trinity.

Brough also captained Scotland in three World Cups and won the Super League Man of Steel award in 2013.