York secure Atkins coup

York have secured another huge coup for 2021, in the shape of experienced Super League centre Ryan Atkins.

The 34-year-old has spent the past 16 years in the top-flight, making over 350 appearances for Bradford, Wakefield and Warrington.

He is the Wolves’ top try-scorer in the Super League era, notching 168 over 10 years whilst also winning two Challenge Cups, while he has also scored a further 51 during his two spells with Trinity.

He becomes the Knights’ second big-name recruit of late, joining current Wakefield teammate Danny Kirmond in James Ford’s squad.

On the move, Atkins said: “I spoke to him (Ford) and I could just tell straight away that his passion and hunger for the game was evident.

Atkins won the Challenge Cup twice during his time at Warrington. Credit: Craig Thomas/News Images

“His philosophies and approach reminded me of Tony Smith and under him at Warrington was when I played my best rugby so I just knew I would be able to work really well with Fordy. I’m really excited to do this and I’ve not been excited for a while.”

York boss Ford added: “Ryan is a big signing for us and I’m sure the supporters will be excited to watch him impose his physicality on our opponents.

“His track record speaks for itself – but I’m excited to work with someone who I feel will help lift standards on and off the field. We see Ryan as a leader and we’ll be expecting him to lead us right from the front.

“He’s been around some elite environments and I’m confident he will have a huge impact on us in 2021 and beyond.”