Newcastle Thunder have signed Connor Bailey from Wakefield Trinity.
Bailey spent the 2021 season on-loan at Kingston Park Stadium as he aimed to secure regular game time, an objective he achieved by making 18 appearances for the club.
Arriving as a half-back, it was in the back row where he played most of his rugby in his first year for Thunder, scoring four tries.
Taking up the sport with Shaw Cross, Bailey rose through the youth ranks at Belle Vue before signing professional terms with Wakefield in 2019.
Having caught the eye at U19s and reserve grade, he made his Super League debut back in September 2020 against Hull FC and made five appearances for Trinity up to November that year.
After enjoying his experiences in the North East in 2021, Bailey is now looking forward to continuing as an out-and-out Thunder player.
Bailey said: “I loved it up hear from day one I was made to feel really welcome, like a senior in the team and I found it to be a good platform to take my career forward. The biggest thing though was the welcome and how good they made me feel in deciding to stay here.
“The option for staying was brought up throughout the season and once it had finished, I had a real good chat with Denis and Freddy about this year and what plans they have and after that, there was no reason not to stay and I’d have been silly to turn down the opportunity they have given me.
“I’m hoping this year to get a solid playing platform and get games week in, week out in one position which I can hopefully build on and improve as a player and a person.”
Head coach Eamon O Carroll said: “Connor signed as a half but never got an opportunity to play there, he did when it was forced but ended up being one of our starting back rowers and really embraced taking on that positions.
“It was really important coming into full time was ensuring we have quality across the squad and Connor is going to be so valuable to the team, you can put him anywhere and he will do a fantastic job,
“I hope this year, he manages to cement a place in the team and develop that and kick on.”