YORK City Knights' dual-registration partnership with Hull Kingston Rovers will continue in 2018 - with Robins boss Tim Sheens hailing the "family" bond between the clubs.

The agreement began last March, when the Knights hierarchy scrapped their brief arrangement with Featherstone to instead pair up with the Humberside big guns, and both clubs say it has proved a huge hit.

It means the Knights will continue to bring Hull KR players to Bootham Crescent on dual-reg and loan next year - possibly of even better standard now that the Robins have been promoted back to Super League.

The two clubs will also continue to share resources, with Rovers, for example, benefitting from the Knights’ connection with York St John University to gain access to the campus’ state-of-the-art sports facilities.

Sheens - the former Australia head coach - said: “Having a partnership with the level of understanding and cooperation that exists between the two clubs is of huge importance to us both moving forward.

“We are in constant communication with each other, we see ourselves as part of the same family and from our point of view we expect our relationship with York to become even stronger in 2018.

“With the infrastructure York have, the players in their squad and the coaching staff at their disposal, we fully expect them to be challenging for promotion to the Championship once again and we’d love to support them in achieving that goal."

The Knights utilised a total of nine Hull KR players over the course of 2017, with hooker Will Jubb, Doncaster-bound half-back Liam Harris and prop Kieran Moran - who has since gone to the World Cup with Scotland - being York regulars throughout the season.

Sheens said: “A number of our players contributed to the excellent season the Knights have just had.

"They went with the right attitude and were made to feel welcome, not just the younger players in our squad but some experienced pros as well.

"That will continue next year - and Ben Cockayne has also joined York which will further strengthen the connection between the two clubs.

“That’s the kind of environment we want our players to be involved in and we get constant feedback on their performance, so we can monitor their progress over a sustained period of regular football.”

Sheens' assistant, James Webster, was among the guests at the Knights' presentation ceremony at York Racecourse last week.

Knights chairman Jon Flatman said: “We couldn’t be happier with the way our partnership with Rovers has evolved this season and we’re looking forward to working with them again in 2018, both continuing some of the things which have proved successful for us so far and adding some new ideas to the mix as well.

“It’s very much a mutual relationship with both parties benefitting in different ways.

"From our point of view, Hull KR’s return to Super League will mean they run with a slightly smaller squad next season with more of an emphasis on quality.

"That will only strengthen our options to have some of these players available to us throughout the year.”