YORK Knights have announced a dual registration agreement with Newcastle Thunder ahead of the 2024 league campaign.

The partnership will allow Knights players to gain first-team game-time with the Thunder, who begin their Betfred League One campaign on Saturday against Hunslet.

York will begin their Betfred Championship season at newly-promoted Doncaster a day later.

The Knights began their 2024 season in Newcastle at the end of January with an emphatic 114-10 triumph, which in part helped them seal their progression to the quarter finals, and now semi finals, of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup.

Ex-Thunder pair Connor Bailey and Nikau Williams were on the scoresheet for York at Kingston Park, as was new signing Will Dagger, who marked his debut with a hat-trick.

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Knights head coach Andrew Henderson described the dual registration partnership as a “really exciting opportunity for both clubs”.

He said: “For Newcastle, it’s an opportunity to get a strong calibre of player at their disposal to help with their league campaign, making them a more competitive side going forwards.

“From our point of view, it’s a great opportunity for some of our younger players who are still in the early phases of their development phase to get some much-needed game time on a regular and consistent basis.

“A lot of our younger players have missed playing opportunities due to Covid-19 and their reserve grade sides playing to an irregular schedule.  

"Our players now have the opportunity to play consistent rugby league week-in, week-out at a strong level in Betfred League One, which is a great development opportunity."

York Press: Newcastle Thunder head coach Chris Thorman is delighted with the sides' partnership.Newcastle Thunder head coach Chris Thorman is delighted with the sides' partnership. (Image: Dean Williams)

Newcastle will hope to rebuild on the pitch after a troubled off-season that saw the club almost cease to exist following their relegation from the Championship last term.

And head coach Chris Thorman, who made 60 appearances for the Knights between 2010-12, is delighted to now have more players at his disposal ahead of the League One campaign. 

He explained: "I have got know Hendo and Clint (Goodchild, Chairman) well since the start of the year and they understood our need for help in assembling a squad that will be competitive every week in Betfred League One.

"This agreement will hopefully contribute to enabling that, as well as allowing York players who are not playing on a regular basis the opportunity to maintain game time on a regular basis in what will be a highly competitive Betfred League One competition.

"York have great depth to their squad this year, so I’m really pleased with the agreement."