JAMES FORD has expressed his joy at securing Leeds Rhinos pair Corey Hall and Corey Johnson on loan.

Centre Hall made his Betfred Super League debut for Leeds against Catalans Dragons last season, having signed a three-year deal with the club that year.

Like Johnson, the 18-year-old is formerly of the England academy, where he worked under York head coach James Ford.

On the loan signing of Hall, the length of which has not been disclosed, Ford said: “Corey is a talented three quarter who has the potential to make a significant impact on our performances.

“Corey is another player who represented England academy and I’m excited to work with him again.

“I’d like to thank Leeds and everyone involved in this deal.”

Hooker Johnson has returned to rugby league after leaving the game last year by penning a new deal with Leeds and signing for York on loan until the end of the year.

The former Featherstone Rovers dual registration player is highly-rated and was playing amateur rugby league for Hunslet Club Parkside earlier this year.

Johnson links up with a York squad in need of options at hooker amid the persistent injury problems afflicting Kriss Brining, who has played just five times in 2021.

Ford said: “I’m really confident in him because he’s a real talent is Corey. I’m absolutely delighted to bring him in.

“That really will ease the burden on Will Jubb and Kriss. Kriss is so close to be back in training and we don’t have to rush him now, we can give Kriss a little bit more time so that, when he is back, he’s fit.

“With those two in the hooking slots, as opposed to a winger and a back-rower, it does take some pressure off the halves in terms of organising the shape and the structure that we want to throw at teams.”

Asked to describe the strengths of 20-year-old Johnson, Ford replied: “I could talk about Corey all day because I believe that he is potentially a very good player.

“His deception around the ruck is outstanding, he’s got a good running game, but he can find a pass off the back of it.

“He’s a good size for a nine as well so defensively he’s robust and he reads the game very well.

“I’m really pleased to have him in and I’m sure that he’ll help the side and help Jubby as well.”

Hall and Johnson may debut against London Broncos on Sunday (3pm), with the latter potentially playing alongside Jubb at hooker.

On Jubb’s arm injury, Ford reported: “Will went for an x-ray and it’s not fractured, which is good news. Will is a tough and robust young man who recovers quickly from knocks. I’m really hopeful that Jubby will be available this week.”

The coach added that fellow hooker Brining is not far off a return.

He said: “Kriss is not injured anymore now but what we need to do is make sure that we get him fit so that he doesn’t break down again. But he’s almost there is Kriss.

“Brendan O’Hagan is probably a week or two behind Kriss.

“Matty Marsh won’t feature this weekend and we’re waiting on some information as to whether he will feature next week. It’s a Covid-related issue with Marshy.”

On Joe Porter, who also picked up an injury against Newcastle, Ford said: “Ports is going for a calf scan tomorrow (Friday) so we’ll have more detail on that next week and he certainly won’t be featuring for us at the weekend.”

Ford also confirmed that the results of the scan on injured Adam Cuthbertson had been “really positive”.

“Cuthbo did some training with the conditioning staff and I don’t see him being out for too long,” he said.

“At a push, he could play this week, but we’ll see how he responds in training.”

The Knights boss also confirmed that Riley Dean would be available for selection, after an administrative error meant he missed the Newcastle Thunder game last weekend.