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Former Wigan Warriors playmaker handed Newcastle Thunder deal

Josh Woods will remain a Newcastle Thunder player until at least the end of the 2023 rugby league season, with the club confirming a new deal for the halfback.

Joining on a two-year deal for the 2021 season, Woods was at the heart of Thunder’s first season back in the Betfred Championship, featuring in all but two of Thunders 2021 matches.

The club’s leading points scorer for the campaign with three tries and 41 goals, Woods graduated through Wigan’s academy, making his first-team debut for the Warriors in 2017 and playing 13 first-team games for Wigan in the top-flight.

The playmaker also played almost 50 Betfred Championship matches for Swinton and Leigh before arriving on Tyneside.

With his services now secured for the next two seasons, Woods is excited about the challenges to come.

Woods said: “I’m buzzing obviously, Thunder is a good place to be at the minute. We hit our goal last year and stayed up, even if we weren’t happy with what we produced sometimes, but we’re going to build on that.

“Hopefully, we’re going to push for the top six and top end of the Championship.  With the signings we’ve made there’s no reason we can’t do that. We’re a growing club, that is growing in the city and it’s a great place to be.

Reflecting on Thunder’s new, full-time status Woods added: “There’s nothing better than being full time to come in every day and work with your mates, working hard, having a laugh and doing the thing you love. Hopefully we can go some good places this year and next.”

Head coach Eamon O’ Carroll said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to extend Woodsy’s stay with us.  We already had him for 2022 but it’s a measure of how important he is that we looked to add another year onto that.

“He was exactly what we hoped he would be last year, someone who could get us around the park and who had a good goal kicking rate.  Some of the plays he worked with the ball in hand were excellent too and I can’t wait to see more of that next season.

“Josh is only 23 so has the prime of his career still to come and I’m looking forward to that being with Thunder.”

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