St Helens starlet makes Championship move on long-term deal following successful loan: ‘It’s made me realise why I play rugby’

Ben Olawumi
Taylor Pemberton

Taylor Pemberton in action for Lancashire Academy - Alamy

Released St Helens youngster Taylor Pemberton has penned a three-year deal with Championship club York, who he spent the back end of this season on loan with.

The hooker was one of 11 released by Saints at the end of 2023, having come through their academy to feature twice in Super League last year.

Pemberton featured three times in League 1 for eventual beaten play-off finalists North Wales Crusaders this term, before linking up with York in August.

Scoring on his debut in a win at Widnes Vikings, he would appear seven times in total as York got themselves into the play-offs, before bowing out at the first hurdle with a defeat away against Bradford Bulls.

St Helens starlet makes Championship move on long-term deal

The 20-year-old now returns to the LNER Community Stadium on a permanent basis, signing a deal which will run until the end of the 2026 season.

He said: “I’m absolutely made up to be staying at the Club. I’ve loved my time here at York since making the move on loan. When I got the phone call offering me the opportunity to come here permanently, it was something I couldn’t say no to, and I snatched it with both hands.

“Coming here to York last season, I found a love for the game again and it’s made me realise why I play rugby. I can’t thank the fans and the club enough for making me feel so welcome here.

“I’ve still got plenty to learn as a player, I’m looking forward to getting stuck into pre-season, gelling with the lads even more and getting ready to rip in from round one.”

York coach Andrew Henderson delighted to be able to continue working with Taylor Pemberton

Former Leigh East junior Pemberton becomes the 19th confirmed member of York’s squad for 2024, headed up by experienced coach Andrew Henderson.

The ex-London Broncos chief is relishing the opportunity to seal the youngster’s signature long-term, adding: “Taylor came on my radar at the back end of the 2022 season when I was at Keighley Cougars and I’ve kept an eye on him ever since.

“He became available to us late last season and I was very impressed with Taylor as a person and as a player. Taylor slotted straight in and I was really impressed by his performances.

“He is still a young player, who is in the development phase of his career, so next year gives him a good chance to grow and build his game, while being challenged by some hooker alongside him.

“There’s still so much more to come from Taylor and I’m really looking forward to working with him further and hopefully in the long-term, we’ll see the best from him here at York!”

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