Ex-Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers forward Chris Clarkson signs deal for 2023

Former Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers forward Chris Clarkson has signed a new Championship deal.

Since joining the Knights from Castleford Tigers for the 2020 season, Clarkson has made fifty-one appearances for the Knights, including his 300th career game last night against Bradford Bulls. Ahead of the 2021 campaign, the two-time Betfred Super League Grand Final winner was named captain of the Knights and has since proven himself to be one of the most reliable, consistent performers for James Ford’s team.

32-year-old Clarkson becomes the ninth confirmed member of the Knights squad for 2023 with Matty Marsh, Jacob Ogden and Olly Butterworth all signing two-year deals ahead of the current campaign while teenage quartet Toby Warren, Myles Harrison, AJ Towse and Brad Ward are also locked in until the end of next season. It has also already been announced that current loanee Ata Hingano has signed a permanent three-year contract with the Knights, starting next season.

On Clarkson’s new deal, Head Coach James Ford said: “We’re really pleased to be in a position to start retaining players and building our squad for next year and beyond. Chris is an absolutely central part of those plans. His leadership is outstanding and I think he has shown over the last couple of season that he is willing to put the team’s needs first over and above his own.

“This season he has been used more consistently in one position and I think we have seen some outstanding performances from him. He is a player that I really enjoy working with, one I’ve got a lot of respect for and trust in. I’m sure he will continue to improve and help improve those around him.”

Clarkson added: “I’m over the moon to extend my stay with the Knights. I’ve really enjoyed the three years I’ve played here so far and I feel that I’ve got on better and played better each year. The attitude I have is to always keep improving and next year won’t be any different.

“I’m really looking forward to next season and being a better player than I have been this year. From a team point of view, it’s great to be involved with the lads at the minute and to be as close as we are. I’m sure that will carry on into next year and that any new recruits we get will fall into that because Fordy and Clint sign people that will keep that cohesion together.

“I’m really excited to be a part of it. The Club is going in a great direction, off the field especially as well as on it. The ambition for me to get better matches those of both the Club and the team wanting to get better so I’m really happy to be involved with that.”

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