YORK City Knights have strengthened their forward pack with the signing of veteran Jordan Thompson from Leigh Centurions for the 2022 season.

Thompson has racked up over 250 appearances during his long career, the majority of which has spent in the Betfred Super League.

The back-rower began his career at Castleford Tigers, with whom he twice reached the Super League play-offs and two Betfred Challenge Cup semi-finals.

During his time with the Tigers, he had a short five-match spell at York on dual registration in 2011.

Thompson joined Hull FC in 2014 and he would go on to be part of the Black and Whites sides which won two Challenge Cup trophies and made the Super League play-off semi-finals in successive seasons.

The 30-year-old has since had spells at Leigh Centurions, Leeds Rhinos and again at Hull FC, with his most recent season being at Leigh, who were relegated from Super League.

Having lost the experience of forwards Tim Spears, James Green and Danny Washbrook through retirement during the off-season, the Knights will hope that Thompson will provide some maturity to their forward pack next year.

Knights head coach James Ford said: “I’m absolutely delighted to get Jordy over the line, he’s a very competitive player with an outstanding skill set for a middle.

“Jordy will add a significant amount of tenacity to our team, something that I was very keen to add to our squad.”

Thompson said: “I’m really happy to have joined the club. It’s a good club that is looking to push on to be one of the best in the division.

“It was quite an easy decision and, obviously, the facilities are second to none so I’m looking forward to it.”

The forward is well acquainted with Ford through their playing time at Castleford, with Thompson replacing his new boss in that team.

“I hope he doesn’t hold a grudge for that,” Thompson joked, before adding of his relationship with Ford: “That’s what made the decision to come and join easy for me really.

“He was a big thing in that and, obviously, already having a good relationship with him, I think the rugby side will come from that and I’ll enjoy myself under him.”

At 30, Thompson is one of the older signings made by York thus far in their recruitment haul.

Asked about being one of the group’s leaders, he replied: “I’m looking forward to that, it’s a big challenge but with the rugby I’ve played over the last few years, that should come naturally and if the group look at me as a leader then that’s great.

“It won’t be too much pressure because I’ve played enough and I’ve done enough to be able to cope so I’m quite excited about it.

Discussing his goals for next season, Thompson added: “You’ll get the best rugby out of me. I definitely enjoy playing with the ball even though I’ll be playing in the middle.

“I like defending aggressively so, hopefully, there will be a lot for them to cheer on. I’ll definitely be ripping in so the Knights fans will see my best rugby.”

Thompson is the 13th confirmed member of York’s squad for 2022 alongside AJ Towse, Myles Harrison, Toby Warren, Matty Marsh, Joe Brown, Will Jubb, Jamie Ellis, Jack Teanby, Marcus Stock, Liam Harris, Sam Davis and Jacob Ogden.