YORK City Knights’ team building for 2010 has continued apace with the recruitment of three players – all of whom played in the Championship this year.

Featherstone hooker Joe McLocklan, Doncaster prop Alex Benson and former Dons winger Wayne Reittie have all signed for the Knights’ assault on Championship One next year.

The swoops – coupled with the news that Super League star Chris Thorman is in talks with the club, es exclusively revealed in this newspaper – might temper the disappointment of losing talisman David March, who, as reported in The Press yesterday, has signed for rivals Hunslet to again play alongside his brother and former York player-boss Paul March.

McLocklan sat out only two games for Rovers this season as they reached the Championship play-offs and only just missed out on tomorrow’s Grand Final at Warrington, losing their semi-final away to Halifax last weekend.

The 22-year-old, who can also play at stand-off or loose-forward and kick goals, could have stayed in that tier but found the travelling to Rovers’ frequent training sessions difficult and will find the commute from Hull to York easier.

Benson, 24, was one of the stars of Doncaster’s promotion-winning team in 2008, although he missed the first few months of this season after a back operation. The former Hull FC youngster’s return to action, however, coincided with the Dons’ financial trouble and subsequent decline, ultimately ending in relegation. He left the club in August due to cost-cutting measures.

Leeds-born winger Reittie, 21, also began last season with the Keepmoat Stadium club but he too left as part of the club’s cutbacks in June.

The Knights showed interest in him at that time but he instead signed for Championship One rivals Hunslet and was in the Hawks team, led by departed York player-coach Paul March, that won at Huntington Stadium in July. However, York now have their man.

General manager Ian Wilson was delighted with all three signings – though their arrival might signal the departure of current favourites.

McLocklan could be seen as a like-for-like alternative to team captain Paul Hughes, although it is feasible that he is a direct replacement for Tom Hodgson, who has left for university in Durham.

Benson’s arrival could cover for Sean Hesketh’s departure for Batley, but also puts question marks over the future of prop Adam Sullivan, who is also starting a university course soon in his home town of Hull. Sullivan has twice turned down new contract offers and the Knights now have six props signed on for next year.

Knights winger Steve Lewis has also turned down his contract offer and, although this does not mean he is definitely leaving, the arrival of West Indies player Reittie means the Knights have names in that department, with Mike Mitchell and youngsters Tom Lineham and Tom Stancliffe already signed up.

Fellow three-quarters John Oakes and Dave Clayton currently have offers on the table.

Wilson said: “Joe McLocklan has played many first-team games for Featherstone, who got within one game of the Championship Grand Final, so it shows he’s a quality player. He’s played pretty much week in week out – and there are other quality players at Fev wanting that shirt – and hopefully he will do a good job for us.

“Alex Benson has got experience playing in that league as well. He’s a big unit with a bit of skill and some offloads in him. He’s a good signing for us.

“Wayne is a pacy winger. We’ve perhaps struggled for wingers over the last two seasons probably, with centres playing on the wing. It will be good to have an out-and-out winger with genuine pace, and with the likes of Tom Lineham and Tom Stancliffe battling it out for a shirt too.

“We’ve lacked a bit of pace this year. We got (half-backs) Loz Wildbore and Gareth Moore in and they brought pace, but in the middle of the field. It’s important to have quick wingers and Wayne has got that.”