Ben Johnston returns home to York

James Gordon

York have signed half-back Ben Johnston from Halifax for the 2020 season.

Johnston, 27, played 17 times for the City Knights in 2013 before a six-season spell at Halifax, where he scored 49 tries in 123 games, departing at the end of the 2019 campaign.

He said: “I always wanted to return to my hometown club. Fordy was my amateur coach so feel I owe a lot to him – I would have never played Super League or Championship with out his influence.

“I feel like the club is building something special on the field with a really tough and competitive squad, and off the field with the new stadium.

“After a great 2019 season we will have a bit of a target on our heads, but we will be prepared for that. I just want to add to what seems a great group of lads that are willing to work hard for one another.”

Johnston, who made two Super League appearances for Castleford at the beginning of his career, has won five caps for Ireland at international level.

Knights coach James Ford said: “I’m absolutely delighted to bring Ben to the club. I’m confident he’ll bring a different dimension to our attacking game with his running and reactive threat.

“Ben’s a great kid who will fit in really well and he was excited about being challenged to break into our team.”