JAMES FORD has hailed the impact Graeme Horne has already had at York City Knights since his arrival from Hull KR.

The 32-year-old top-flight veteran, who played twice for York on dual-reg last season prior to his permanent switch this winter, is set to be a key man on and off the pitch in 2018, having taken an assistant-coach role in addition to playing duties in the pack.

He will don the shirt for the first time since his move today, against his old Rovers mates in the Ben Cockayne Testimonial at Craven Park (3pm).

"Graeme Horne is a player with a lot of ability," said Ford.

"He's trained to a fantastic level, and it's really pleasing to see him pass on his experience to everyone around him.

"Everyone is benefitting from having players like Graeme at the club.

"My understanding also is he's really enjoying it at York and his dual role.

"It will be great to see him on the field. He will be looking forward to it and having a big smile on his face playing against his hometown club and some close friends. He will be excited about the challenge."

Fellow former Super League prop Carl Forster had a big impact at League One rivals Whitehaven last term after taking over as player-coach, helping the Cumbrians reach the play-off final - after beating York in that epic semi-final at the Recre.

Asked if Horne, with more top-tier experience behind him, could have an even bigger effect at Bootham Crescent, Ford said: "Graeme's a quality player with great understanding. He certainly fits in with how we want to play, with ball movement and being cute in possession.

"It's good to coach people with that level of ability. It's really pleasing to see him have such a positive impact on everyone.

"I do think Graeme's inclusion in our side will help with other player's improvement, as well as that of the team."