HARD-WORKING forward Chris Clarkson is looking forward to “promoting” York City Knights further upwards after joining from Castleford Tigers.
The ambitious Championship club has secured a real coup with the capture of the ex-Leeds Rhinos back-row on a one-year deal.
Clarkson has played almost 250 Super League games and won a Grand Final and World Club Challenge during his time with hometown Rhinos.
Having also featured with Widnes Vikings and Hull KR, the former England Knights international helped Castleford to the top-five play-offs this term, scoring four tries in 20 appearances.
Clarkson, 29, said: “I’m eager and excited to get started.
“It’s a different thing for me working in the part-time environment and will take a bit of getting used to but very much looking forward to it.
“I know the Championship is a very tough competition; there are some great players especially at York.
“It was great to see how well they did this year back in the competition.
“I’m expecting the standard of training to be up there with the best of them, especially under Fordy.
“I initially spoke with him last year and he expressed some interest in me then when I left Hull KR.
“I met Fordy again towards the end of this year and we had a great conversation about rugby on and off the field.
“I’m looking forward to adding to the team and helping to further promote the club’s culture off the field as well.”
York’s James Ford won Championship Coach of the Year after storming to third place in their first season after coming up as League 1 champions with Knights also claiming Club of the Year.
They have already signed former Wakefield Trinity player Danny Washbrook from Hull FC for 2020 and the addition of the industrious Clarkson - who can also play loose forward or prop - is another excellent recruit as they seek to continue their progress.
Ford said: “I’m really pleased to sign a player of Chris’ ability.
“After doing our due diligence on him it was clear from everyone we spoke to that he came with a glowing reference with regard to his attitude and the standards he adheres to both on and off the field.
“I’m looking for Chris to be one of the leaders in our pack in 2020 and feel he will have a positive impact on our team, and be someone who will help further the culture we are trying to develop, especially amongst our younger players.
“At 29 years-old he brings a lot of experience but also still has some of his best years ahead of him; he is probably at peak physical shape for a forward.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him promote the ball a bit in his forward play, which is a slightly different role to what he did at Castleford but one I’m sure he will enjoy.
“It’s a mark of just how far the club has come that we have secured a signing of this standard.
“Two years ago I probably wouldn’t have even answered the phone to his agent, but now we are in a position where we are an attractive proposition to players like Chris.
“That is down to the fantastic work behind the scenes at York and also thanks to sponsors and supporters for their continued and growing support.”