YORK City Knights have snapped up two promising young forwards from Castleford Tigers on one-year deals.

Prop Harvey Kear and Rory Dixon, who can slot in at either prop or second row, both come highly recommended from Tigers’ head of youth development, Pete Riding.

The 19-year-olds have been brought in on free transfers after having been released by Cas.

Knights boss James Ford is looking forward to working with the pair, who he believes have the right qualities to fit in at the Kingstone Press League One club.

Ford said: “They’re both big, athletic lads, both physically capable. They suit our style of play. They have a good attitude, so as a coach, I’m excited to work with them.”

He also insisted that the recommendation from Riding is a good sign.

“Pete’s an excellent judge of player character and promise, so I trust his judgement,” added Ford.

The pair both featured in the academy side that finished second in the 2017 Academy Under-19s Championship behind Wigan Warriors, and lost to the latter in the Academy Grand Final.

Kear – who measures in at 6ft 2in – was an unused substitute in the game, while Dixon started at number eight.

England U16s youth international Dixon, at 6ft 3in, weighs in at 105 kilograms, five kilos more than Kear, and is a player that Ford has been impressed by when seeing him in action.

He said: “He caught my eye at the start of the year when Castleford played a young side at Batley. He reminded me of Ryan Boyle (a Castleford academy graduate who now plays at prop for championship side Halifax).

“He’s the kind of player I want to work with, he’s got a positive attitude and he’s keen to learn.”

He echoed these sentiments when talking about Kear, saying: “He’s young for a middle, but he has the potential to kick on.

“He’s a big man with nice skill who fits how we want to play. He has good passing and offload skills and he’s smart in deception of lines.

“He’s a player we can help to improve to become a really good player.

“Most important for me is that he’s keen to continue to learn – he’s aware that it’s a step up.”

Ford also stressed gratitude to their parent club: “I’m thankful to Castleford for keeping us up to date with their players’ development, especially Pete Riding, and for the positive relationship the clubs share.”