York RLFC Knights have 24 players signed up so far for 2023 as Andrew Henderson heads into his inaugural season in charge of the Championship side.
Henderson, 43, was appointed the club’s new head coach during the off-season on a massive five-year deal from Keighley, where he was director of rugby. He succeeds James Ford, who has joined Wakefield as assistant coach.
The new boss is one of several fresh faces at the LNER Community Stadium in 2023.
Former Huddersfield forward Ukuma Ta’ai makes the move from Newcastle Thunder on a two-year deal. He is joined by centre Jesse Dee in making the switch from the north east following the club’s return to part-time.
Australian hooker Josh Daley joins for the 2023 Championship campaign from the New South Wales Cup competition. He featured for the Mounties – the feeder club for the NRL’s Canterbury Bulldogs.
Ireland international Ronan Michael makes the permanent move from Huddersfield on a two-year deal. The forward spent 2022 on loan with the Knights, making 19 appearances. He also represented his nation at the recent World Cup in England.
Meanwhile, 24-year-old forward Jon Luke Kirby has also made the switch from the John Smith’s Stadium for 2023.
Henderson has bolstered his pack with the signing of Conor Fitzsimmons from Workington Town on a two-year contract. He helps boost the side following the departures of Masi Matongo, Ronan Dixon, Marcus Stock and Toby Warren.
Elsewhere, Jamaica international Jacob Ogden was granted an early release from the final year of his contract.
Veteran forward Danny Kirmond will continue his playing career in 2023, as well as joining the club’s coaching staff as an assistant. Pauli Pauli, Chris Clarkson and Jordan Thompson are amongst those to have also committed their futures for 2023 and beyond.
Ins and outs
Incomings: Ukuma Ta’ai, Jesse Dee, Josh Daley, Ronan Michael, Conor Fitzsimmons, Ben Barnard, Jon Luke Kirby.
Outgoings: Toby Warren, Jacob Ogden, Ronan Dixon.
York RLFC Knights 2023 squad so far
Backs: Matty Marsh, Joe Brown, James Glover, Brendan O’Hagan, Liam Harris, Myles Harrison, AJ Towse, Brad Ward, Bailey Antrobus, Olly Butterworth, Ata Hingano, Josh Daley, Jesse Dee.
Forward: Will Jubb, Jack Teanby, Chris Clarkson, Pauli Pauli, Jordan Thompson, Danny Kirmond, Ronan Michael, Conor Fitzsimmons, Jon-Luke Kirby, Ben Barnard.