Hunslet add two more signings
Hunslet have signed front-row forwards Jack Ray and Jack Aldous, both on a one-year deal.
Ray, 21, is a a former Castleford Tigers academy player who joined Dewsbury Rams last year and spent time with Hunslet's Betfred League One rivals Coventry Bears.
The Parksiders' coach Gary Thornton said: “Jack struggled to get game time at Dewsbury, but got plenty on dual-registration at Coventry, where he really impressed me.
“I saw a lot of his games while previewing our opposition and he stood out as a young lad who was really working hard to make an impression.
“He hits the line hard and, like most young props, is fearless when going into collisions.
"He’s not the biggest of props, but he is certainly one of the fittest I’ve seen and very game.”
Thornton added: “He is one of our young guns who have really raised the level of enthusiasm and energy around our pre-season training.
“This is his second season at League One and my experience tells me he will have learned an awful lot from his introduction into adult rugby last year, which he can take into 2020 as a better player.”
Ray said: “I’m excited about joining Hunslet and I’m determined to put a disappointing year at Dewsbury behind me by kicking on in 2020.
“I had some good game time at Coventry when I was aware I was in the shop window.
"I’m glad I caught the eye of Gary Thornton and it’s now up to me to prove that he’s made the right decision.”
Ray began playing rugby at Oulton Raiders and insisted: "Wherever I’ve played I’ve had the same approach, to give everything I have.
“I’ve a strong work ethic and bags of enthusiasm and my approach is straightforward – to simply get in there and get involved.”
Aldous, 28, made 22 appearances for Gateshead Thunder last season and was coached by Thornton during a spell at York City Knights.
“I am absolutely delighted to have signed a player of Jack’s undoubted ability and vast experience," Thornton commented.
“This is a major signing for us. He is a proven performer in Betfred League One and has been an integral part of Newcastle’s pack for the past few seasons, having previously impressed at York where I coached him in 2014.”
He added: “Jack is really well respected within the game and I know he was a target for other clubs, including a couple of high-profile Championship clubs, so his decision to join us is a real coup.
“He is an experienced middle-unit player who never takes a backward step and will get us on the front-foot in attack with his agile footwork at the line and his ability to get a quick play the ball.
"On top of that he will also be a huge benefit to our young front-rowers who will learn from his knowledge and his attitude.
"He will be a role model for those young guys.”
Aldous said: “I had three good years at Newcastle, but the travel was getting to me a bit. I fancied being somewhere nearer home and I’d always enjoyed playing against Hunslet.
“I knew a few of the players, such as Josh Tonks and Jack Lee and I’d really enjoyed playing under Gary Thornton at York, when we topped the league.
“I think at 28 years of age I’m now coming into my prime. I’ve lots of experience behind me and I’m happy to do whatever is needed for the cause, whether that’s playing for the full 80 minutes or coming off the bench.
“Whatever’s best for the team comes first. I’m hoping for a big year and helping take Hunslet to the next step after having missed out on promotion last season.”