YORK Knights have retained the services of winger Joe Brown, who has signed a new one-year contract.

Brown joined the Knights from Bradford Bulls ahead of the 2022 season, making an instant impact.

He scored 17 tries to help his side reach the Betfred Championship Play-off Semi Finals before defeat to eventual promotion-winners Leigh Leopards.

The 24-year old again played a key role as York defied the odds to claim the final Play-off place this year before defeat to his former club in the Eliminator, despite playing out of position for the majority.

Brown swapped his usual role as a right winger for full-back, deputising for the injured Matty Marsh in 27 of his 32 appearances last term.

It was a position that he only grew into across the season, scoring 13 tries and contributing 11 assists as an ever-present in Andrew Henderson’s side.

Confident handling and bursts of pace became the story of the winger’s campaign, in which he was also rewarded with the Knights’ Try of the Season, after he applied the finishing touch to an outstanding team try against Batley Bulldogs to scoop over 60 per cent of the vote.

Brown admitted that the decision to extend his stay at the Knights was a “no-brainer” and that he is looking forward to returning to play on the wing.

“I’m really happy to get the deal done to stay here for 2024,” he enthused. 

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here since making the move across and I’ve felt like this is my new home.

“Playing the majority of last season at full-back wasn’t in the script, given the injury to Marshy, but I’d played there quite a few times before, so it was nothing new, although I did have to learn how Hendo wanted his full-back to play.

“I really enjoyed the experience but at the same time, I’m looking forward to moving back to the wing next year, all being well.

“To extend my contract for a third season was a no-brainer of a decision for me. We finished last season really strongly and hopefully we can continue that form and pick up a lot less injuries next year.

“At the back end of last season, we were a difficult team to beat but we just didn’t quite match Bradford in the Play-offs, which was a shame. 

“We’ll learn from that as a team, we’ll be better for that experience and next season we’ll be ready to go.”

Henderson praised Brown's performances out of position, admitting that he is looking forward to witnessing his further development with the Knights.

: “Joe was a pleasure to work with in 2023 and he did a tremendous job playing in the full-back role for the majority of the season, through necessity.

“Joe is a great person to have around the organisation, he’s a great team-mate and he’s got his best years of rugby ahead of him.

“Having seen Browny develop as a player and as a person over the last 12 months, I’m really pleased to have secured his services for 2024.

“Hopefully we can see him progress further on the field next year!”