York sign halfback, as hooker departs

York City Knights have announced the signing of halfback Ben Johnston from Halifax from 2020.

The 27-year-old has been at ‘Fax for the past six seasons, scoring 49 tries in 123 games.

Despite being born in York, Johnston came through the academy system at Castleford, making two Super League appearances as well as having loan spells at the Knights and with Dewsbury.

An Ireland international, he becomes the club’s fourth new signing for next season, joining experienced forward trio Danny Washbrook, Chris Clarkson and James Green at Bootham Crescent.

Johnston started his career at Castleford.

“I always wanted to return to my hometown club. Fordy was my amateur coach so feel I owe a lot to him – I would have never played Super League or Championship with out his influence.

“I feel like the club is building something special on the field with a really tough and competitive squad, and off the field with the new stadium.

“After a great 2019 season we will have a bit of a target on our heads, but we will be prepared for that. I just want to add to what seems a great group of lads that are willing to work hard for one another.”

James Ford has made Ben Johnstone his fourth new signing for 2020.

York head coach James Ford added: “I’m absolutely delighted to bring Ben to the club. I’m confident he’ll bring a different dimension to our attacking game with his running and reactive threat.

“Ben’s a great kid who will fit in really well and he was excited about being challenged to break into our team.”

Meanwhile, the club have also confirmed that hooker Harry Carter has left the club.

He has left to take up a contract with Doncaster.

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