YORK Knights have made their first signing for 2024 in Wakefield Trinity full-back Will Dagger.

The 24-year-old arrives from the West Yorkshire club on a three-year deal, confirming the speculation that has built over recent months.

Dagger made 17 appearances for Trinity last term, scoring two tries, 29 goals and one drop goal as they were relegated to the Betfred Championship.

Able to turn out at full-back, in the centres or at half-back, he has now returned for a second spell at the Knights, having scored three tries in four appearances for the club in 2018.

But that is not his only connection to the city, having worked with fiancee Georgie Hetherington at York Valkyrie throughout the season.

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Dagger began his career at Warrington Wolves, making his Betfred Super League debut at the age of just 18.

He moved to Hull KR in 2019, going on to make more than 50 appearances for the Robins, including starting their Betfred Challenge Cup Semi Final against Huddersfield Giants last summer, before joining Wakefield.

Head coach Andrew Henderson has been vocal in his ambitions to add versatile and experienced players to his squad, with Dagger fitting the bill.

Despite being just 24, he has 60 top-flight appearances to his name, and will more than ably fill the gaps left by the departures of loanee Oli Pratt, Matty Marsh and retiring captain Chris Clarkson in the backs.

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Dagger is delighted to have joined the Knights, having been impressed by what he has seen in his time working with the Valkyrie this season.

“I’m very happy to have signed for the Knights!” he enthused.

“I’ve been given an insight into what the club has got to offer and where’s it’s going while working with York Valkyrie this year.

“I’m really happy to be here and hopefully we can have a good season in 2024 and be up there pushing towards the top of the table.

“Speaking to Clint [Goodchild, Chairman] through role at the Valkyrie, he mentioned that he’d been keeping an eye on me and that him and Hendo [head coach Andrew Henderson] liked the way I was playing.

“I spoke to them about how they saw the club progressing and it really excited me.”

The Knights have been without a regular full-back for much of 2023,owing to a campaign that has seen Marsh blighted with injury, with Joe Brown and Myles Harrison forced to step in in his place.

And Dagger is determined to nail down the number one spot for next year.

“My work has only just started now, joining a new team with new faces and new personnel.

“I need to make sure that I have a good pre-season and prove to Hendo that I’m worthy of that spot, because no shirt is ever given, you have to work hard for it and I’m willing to do that.”

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Henderson was glad to have secured the full-back’s services for the next three years, adding: “I’m very happy to bring Will to the club as full-back was a position that we were looking to strengthen in terms of our quality and depth and bringing Will to the club gives us that.

“He’s a tremendous full-back who is experienced at Super League level.

“He will bring a lot of quality attributes in terms of tempo of run, his skill out of the back, his positional play and his competitive edge, which is the main thing I admired in his game.

“For Will, this is a real opportunity for him to establish himself and he has a real opportunity to cement himself as the number one, if he performs to the levels that we know he can.

“Will is only 24-years-old, so we believe he has his best rugby league ahead of him. We’re really excited to see what he can bring now and where he can go to in the future.”