YORK City Knights have bolstered their pack options - and their "size and physicality" - by signing 24-year-old forward Jordan Baldwinson from Wakefield Trinity, initially on a one-month loan deal.

Baldwinson is a product of the Leeds Rhinos academy and, in addition to two spells and 16 appearances in Leeds' first-team ranks, has had a stint down under with New Zealand Warriors plus a successful time with Featherstone Rovers.

He has also had loan stints with Bradford Bulls, Leigh Centurions and Halifax.

Knights head coach James Ford revealed he had tried to sign the strapping six-footer over the winter. The loan period may also yet be extended beyond the first month.

Ford said: “Jordan brings size and physicality to our middle unit. He's capable of playing big minutes and I think he complements what we've already got in the squad.

"We're always trying to improve the team and the squad and I think Jordan, as long as he buys into how we do things, fits the bill.

"He’s a player we tried signing in the off-season and I’m delighted the club and specifically Squadbuilder have backed us in this acquisition.

“I’m confident that if Jordan buys into our culture and attitude towards hard work he’ll kick on and fulfil his potential.”

Baldwinson, who can play up top or in the back row, was named the Championship Young Player of the Year in his first full season with Featherstone in 2015, and, after rejoining Leeds, returned to Post Office Road on dual-reg in 2016 and 2017. He made 76 appearances in all for the Flatcappers.

He signed a two-year deal with Wakefield ahead of the 2018 campaign and made four Super League appearances for Trinity prior to joining Championship big guns Leigh then Halifax, both on loan, turning out for Fax in the Middle Eights at the end of last season.

The move for the proven top-end Championship-quality player was made possible thanks to the Knights' Squadbuilder Fund.

Baldwinson said: “I’m really looking forward to getting started at York.

"With the lads there, there is a huge buzz about the Knights this year.

"Looking at what they have done already this season and where they stand in the table is a credit to the boys and their coach.

“I’m really hoping I can add to what is already a good squad and help secure more wins with some real tough fixtures ahead.”

Baldwinson will be allowed by Wakefield to play in the Challenge Cup and therefore goes straight into contention for Saturday's fifth round tie at Widnes Vikings.

A hectic period then continues with the Easter weekend Championship double header - the third-placed Knights go to Featherstone on Good Friday and host Widnes on the Bank Holiday Monday - before Ford's men fly to south west France for another tough league clash with second-placed Toulouse Olympique.

Asked if Baldwinson is set to feature heavily over the upcoming fortnight, Ford said: "We've not brought him in not to play.

"He will be judged by the same standards as everyone else in terms of training and how he goes on game day.

"His pedigree is good and his appetite to work hard and get better is good.

"He will play as often as he deserves.

"I wouldn't have brought him in if I didn't believe in him."

Meanwhile, Ford is certain to field another new-look half-back combination against Widnes on Saturday after confirming first-choice duo Connor Robinson (hamstring) and Ben Cockayne (knee) are ruled out - and that Matty Marsh is also in the treatment room.

Cockayne is likely to be sent for a scan - suggesting he could be set for an extended spell on the sidelines.

Robinson and Cockayne were rested for the fourth-round win at Barrow with Marsh switching from full-back to scrum-half and hooker Will Jubb going in at stand-off.

Marsh though is sidelined with an ankle injury suffered in Sunday's win over Swinton.

Half-back Lewis Heckford, who joined on loan from Dewsbury Rams last week, will start.