JIMMY Keinhorst admits that it is good to be back playing his rugby with York Knights.

The former Grand Final winner returns for a second spell in North Yorkshire following the expiration of his contract at the Betfred Super League’s Hull KR, having made five appearances during the curtailed 2020 season.

One of 10 new arrivals to Andrew Henderson’s squad, Keinhorst is among their most experienced, and feels as though he has unfinished business after the pandemic cut his previous time in the city short.

“I’m really pleased to be back,” he enthused to The Press.

“Obviously, I spent a bit of time here a couple of years ago on loan briefly before the pandemic shut everything down, and I was really enjoying my time there whilst all that was going on.

“It’s good to be back, and there’s a bit of familiarity about the place. 

“I haven’t played in the new stadium before with York, so I’m looking forward to doing that. It’s just good to be back.”


Keinhorst was in conversation with a number of clubs following the news that his Robins contract would not be extended, but cites both familiarity and the Super League ambitions of Henderson and chairman Clint Goodchild as the driving forces behind his return.

“I just think that there were a good group of players,” he recalled fondly. “There’s a few who are still here now from last time, who I already got to know a little bit.

“The potential of the club is really big and that’s also something that attracted me to come back. 

“Obviously being a city, York’s got that potential to have further reach than a few of the clubs in and around the top couple of leagues. 

“I want to be a part of that journey and the vision of what they want to achieve in the coming years, with IMG coming on board and having their say on how the game’s going to progress.

“York seem to be quite forward-thinking in that respect, and that’s probably what drew me to them.

“Sitting down with Clint [Goodchild, chairman], it made the decision quite easy. I’m not too far away either, so it feels like a local team for me now.

“I’m just looking forward to playing in front of the fans, who seem very passionate as well.”

The 33-year-old’s move to the Knights sees him transition from full-time back to part-time rugby, and he admits that has taken a little bit of getting used to.

“It’s making that adjustment and adapting from that full-time environment when you’re in in the mornings and your days are taken up. The rest of your down time is your rest and recovery.

“But the lads, most of them have jobs on the side as well which makes things a different environment. It takes some getting used to, training on the evening and stuff, but the lads have been brilliant.

“They’re fully committed to this effort, and I think that you can see it in pre-season, how they’ve applied themselves and really helped all of the new lads settle in - I’m just one of a few really.

“There’s a good atmosphere within the group, and it’s a good environment to be a part of at the moment. Hendo and the coaches have added to that as well.

“I’m just looking forward to getting out there and playing now, and putting together some performances on the pitch that we can be proud of and build upon as the season goes.”

York Press: Keinhorst is enjoying Henderson's organised approach and the head coach's enthusiasm for the game.Keinhorst is enjoying Henderson's organised approach and the head coach's enthusiasm for the game. (Image: Craig Hawkhead)

Keinhorst looks set to make his second debut for the club in Saturday's season opener at Newcastle Thunder (3pm), and is excited to put his work on the training ground into a competitive game situation.

He is also relishing Henderson’s organised and strategic approach, and his undeniable passion for the sport.

“I’m enjoying it. Hendo’s good, he’s enthusiastic about the game, which is exactly what you want from your coach.

“He’s adding bits in that you’ve maybe not heard from other coaches before, and he’s very organised in what he does. He has a plan in terms of his strategy, he wants to get that across the best that he can and I think that he’s doing a good job at the moment.

“Obviously we’ve only gone through the pre-season stage at the moment, but that’s been very well set out, well-organised and I think we’ve progressed across that period.

“We’re entering a new phase where we start playing games and I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s like in those matches.”