YORK Knights loanee Taylor Pemberton will depart parent club St Helens at the end of the 2023 season - fuelling rumours that he will make the permanent move to North Yorkshire.

The 20-year-old hooker is one of 11 players confirmed to be leaving the club, alongside retiring pair James Roby and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.

Pemberton has credited Saints skipper Roby for teaching him some of the best tricks of the trade, with the former Man of Steel widely regarded as one of the sport’s best hookers across his 20-year career.

For McCarthy-Scarsbrook, who has made over 360 appearances for St Helens over the last 13 seasons, a career at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services awaits.

Pemberton told The Press that he was loving life at the Knights since joining on loan from the Betfred Super League heavyweights, labelling his debut against Widnes Vikings as ‘the most enjoyable 40 minutes of his career’.

He had progressed through the Saints academy from the age of 14, but admitted that he would be open to making his loan move permanent if the opportunity arose.

In the meantime, he would just concentrate on performing the best that he could in York colours.

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Head coach Andrew Henderson has also hinted at his desire to sign Pemberton on a permanent basis.

Speaking after the young talent’s grubber for AJ Towse helped the Knights earn an outstanding 20-10 victory at Bradford Bulls, he enthused:

“The great thing is, he’s young, he’s got his best rugby ahead of him, but he’s got some really good attributes to his game.

“He’s certainly someone who really excites me as a player and he’s one that I’m really looking forward to working with in the future and trying to bring the best out of him.

“I think that he’s got potentially a long career ahead of him here at the York club.

“We are blessed, we’ve got some great nines here now in Josh Daley, James Cunningham and Will Jubb, three great nines for the young bloke to learn off.”

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Pemberton said: Was a dream to play for my boyhood club and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to do that. 

“Onto the next chapter now.”