YORK St John University chiefs have hailed their new main sponsorship agreement with York City Knights.

As reported by The Press, the Knights' new-look shirts for 2019 will have the university's name emblazoned on both the front and back, with the deal being an extension of the partnership already in place between the two organisations.

The rugby league club began training at the uni's Haxby Road sports centre as part of the Community Stadium plan in late 2015 but the partnership - including sports science, data, studying, nutrition and research collaborations - effectively took off after the new regime led by Jon Flatman took over the club ahead of the 2017 season.

The were promoted to the Championship as League One champions this year.

Rob Hickey, York St John executive director, told a club video: "We've chosen to partner with York City Knights over the last few years because we saw the potential of the club and we saw that it was an organisation that was going places.

"We saw the value of rugby league to the community in York and that strikes true with what York St John is all about in terms of being a real anchor in the local community.

"This year we are really happy to become the principal sponsor for the club.

"It will be a way for us to get our brand out there in parts of the country where we are looking to attract students from. It will be a really good mechanism for us to do that and, from a community perspective, I think rugby league is a really great sport and it's good to be associated with it."

He added: "I'm from the North East, I'm originally from a football background, but since I've moved to Yorkshire I've really got into rugby league and I think the Knights are a great club."

Flatman, whose club also have their office base at the Haxby Road site, said: "This further strengthening of the partnership confers the ability for both parties to strengthen their commitment to both their internal and external communities.

"We're very happy to take the brand of York St John University into the rugby league community and beyond.

"It is the visible part of the iceberg. The main body of work, perhaps unseen by many people, is based around data, research, the sharing of good practice and the growth of both organisations together."