Hull FC and York Announce Partnership

York City Knights and Hull FC have today announced a new partnership between two of rugby league’s most historic clubs that will see the sides work closely together on and off the field.

The partnership will see several players exchanged on a loan and dual registration basis from 2013, while Hull will also share best practice on a wide range of other strategies such as media and marketing, strength and conditioning and coaching development with the Championship outfit.

It is the latest step in a distinguished relationship between the Airlie Birds and the Knights that has seen several players move between the clubs over the years, while the two sides will also meet in a pre-season friendly for the second successive year at the Huntington Stadium on Sunday, January 27.

Speaking about the signing of a formal agreement between the clubs, Hull FC’s director of rugby Shaun McRae said: “We are delighted to secure this partnership with the Knights and we look forward to working with coach Gary Thornton, his staff and their players next year and beyond. Linking up with York was a natural step given the strong relations between the two clubs and I’m sure both parties will soon see the benefits this exciting partnership will provide”

“With the proposed changes to the academy structure next year, this will provide a great opportunity for some of our younger players to develop in a more competitive environment with a club that boasts one of the strongest traditions in the game.”

As part of the partnership, up to five Hull players will be able to turn out for the Knights each week, with their selection set to be overseen by head coaches Peter Gentle and Gary Thornton.

Having impressed in a spell at the Huntington Stadium earlier this year, promising young Hull half back Danny Nicklas is the first player to take advantage of the partnership by linking up with the Knights on a season-long loan for 2013, although he will remain full-time with the Black and Whites in pre-season with a view to earning a place in Gentle’s side.

Meanwhile, a number of Hull players will also be available for selection for the Knights each week following a tough pre-season training schedule at the Black and Whites that will see every player fight for a spot in the first team, with some strong competition for places at the KC Stadium next year.

York City Knights’ general manager Ian Wilson said: “We are delighted to enter into this exciting partnership with Hull FC. We already have strong links with the Hull area in terms of our playing roster and we believe that the partnership will only enhance this”

“It is important to re-iterate that the partnership goes way beyond player movement and has been carefully structured to include support around many other areas including coach development, medical support, strength and conditioning, facilities, performance analysis, commercial and hospitality, media and marketing, and community work.

“In addition to the benefits identified above, the partnership is also financially beneficial to York City Knights, and Hull FC have committed to sponsoring a number of matches and other items throughout the season”.

“Utilising the resources that Hull FC have available to them will be extremely beneficial for the club and we look forward to working with them over the coming years.”

The partnership between Hull FC and York City Knights will begin with immediate effect, although player movement between the two clubs will not commence until the start of the 2013 season.

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