YORK City Knights have bolstered their forward power by signing Championship title winner Matty Dale and bringing strapping Hull teenager Ross Osbourne in on loan.

Former Featherstone favourite Dale, a free agent following a knee reconstruction last year, has been training with James Ford's men for a couple of weeks, and has now penned a deal until the end of the season.

Osbourne, meanwhile, comes in initially for a month, while the club have also extended the loan of Wakefield second-row Jordan Crowther following his two-try show in last week's win at Doncaster.

However, although Ford has injury problems in the pack, neither of the new recruits will be thrown in at the deep end in this weekend's iPro Sport Cup quarter-final at Rochdale.

Ford said: "I really appreciate the backing I'm getting from the board to allow us to bring in players of Matty Dale's calibre.

"But we need to give them a bit of time to get to know players and systems rather than throw them in and say 'sink or swim'.

"We want to give them as good an opportunity as possible."

Dale, 29, a second-row who can also move up front, played nine times for first club Hull after making his debut as a teenager in 2006.

He had a couple of games for Wakefield before signing for Featherstone in 2009 and going on to make more than 150 appearances for the Championship big guns, scoring 48 tries, winning a hat-trick of League Leaders Shields and playing in three Grand Finals, with one triumph.

A schoolteacher away from rugby, he considered hanging up his boots after his anterior cruciate ligament blow in late 2014 but is now back in the game, with the Knights having been on his case for some time.

As reported by The Press, the club had been seeking a replacement for Brad Nicholson following his departure, and it became more pressing after props Mark Applegarth and Brett Waller and picked up knocks at Doncaster.

Said Ford: "I'm really pleased to bring him in and bolster an already strong forward pack.

"He brings a wealth of experience - he played in many big games in the Championship including Grand Finals.

"He's a proven player of high calibre - whether he plays on the edges or in the middle remains to be seen - and he bolsters competition.

"It will take him a bit of time to hit his standards after being out for a while but in my opinion he's come to the right club to get to where he was 18 months ago.

"He's in good health - he ran a 10k the other weekend with Brett Waller for charity - but we need him to get up to speed rugby-wise. I'm sure we'll have a really good player by the time the Super 8s and play-offs come around."

Eighteen-year-old prop Osbourne, meanwhile, has yet to play for Hull's first team but is seen as one for the future, especially given his size.

Said Ford: "Ross is similar to Brett Waller in stature and he's well thought of at Hull.

"He's a big lad, he carries the ball well, he can pass and he makes good contact defensively. He's got the tools to be a very good player as he matures."

Hull have a dual-registration partnership with Doncaster, but Osbourne becomes the second Airlie Bird to join York on loan, after centre Conor Bower.

"We've got a couple of bumps and bruises in the middle and we could look to rotate things in the next few weeks.

"It's good to bring someone like that in to make sure we keep improving as a group."