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Transfer News: Championship club snap up rival’s star man

York Knights have announced the signing of Italian international forward Brenden Santi until the end of the 2023 season.


Santi arrives at York after departing from Keighley Cougars last week, having made 47 appearances in two-and-a-half seasons for the West Yorkshire club, scoring 15 tries.


Primarily a prop but also capable of playing in the back-row, Santi featured 14 times last year for Keighley as the Cougars won the Betfred League One title with a 100% winning record.

The 29-year-old’s performances saw him retain his spot in the Italy squad for the autumn’s World Cup, having also represented his nation in the 2013 and 2017 World Cups.

He featured in all three of Italy’s Group B contests, including the 28-4 win over Scotland, taking him to a total of 15 international caps, during which time he has scored four tries.

Santi has also represented Newcastle Thunder and Toulouse Olympique, featuring 19 times for the latter in 2019 as the French club finished second in the Betfred Championship.

The Sydney-born forward also boasts NRL experience on his CV, having played 11 times for West Tigers between 2014 and 2015.

Santi said: “I’m really excited to get going here at York. The Club have spoken to me about their vision and it’s really exciting for me to be at a Club with that clear purpose and drive.

“Personally, I want to go to the next level in my rugby league career and I know that I have that in me.

“I know that the younger players here at York are going to be able to push me and there’s some older heads that will be able to teach me a few things too.

“I’m really looking forward to coming in, working really hard and elevating my game. I have got a fair amount of experience and given that, hopefully I can lead from the front in a leadership role.

“I’m excited to be working with Hendo again. He had a big influence on the team during his time at Keighley and he was always someone that challenged me. I think he’s definitely the type of coach that I need to get the best out of myself.”

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