Jamaica international Ben Jones-Bishop jumps at chance to join York City Knights
The Jamaica international, 32, was a Grand Final winner with hometown Rhinos after emerging from their academy and, more recently, scored 64 tries in 116 games with Super League rivals Wakefield Trinity.
However, having successfully battled back from a blood clot in his lungs for the second time in his career last year, he turned down a new contract at Belle Vue at the end of the season to explore his options.
Jones-Bishop - who also played for Salford Red Devils - has now plumped for York who have already signed his former Trinity team-mates Danny Kirmond and Ryan Atkins for 2021 as well as Rhinos prop Adam Cuthbertson.
“I’m delighted to sign for the Knights,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to pulling on the shirt of an ambitious club, and I’m excited about the challenge ahead.
“The last 18 months have been good for me mentally. After being out for a long time I had a chance to reflect on things, and I wanted the opportunity for a new challenge and to see what was out there.
“I thought when I came back last season my performances showed I still have plenty to offer.
“Hopefully I can have a strong season and have a positive impact on the team, and earn a place for Jamaica at the World Cup.
“There are two games in Leeds and there’s a big Caribbean community in West Yorkshire, so hopefully spectators will be back by then and it’ll be a vibrant atmosphere.
“The domestic game in Jamaica is getting stronger all the time; you can see that when the boys from there come over.
“They’re playing at a higher standard, and it would be great to be involved with them in a World Cup.”
York head coach James Ford said: “I’m very proud to bring Ben to York. His track record as a player and a person are unquestionable. Ben brings an outstanding level of threat to an already talented squad. He also brings with him heaps of experience and leadership.”
Ford added: “Ben has displayed an immense amount of resilience and drive to come back from some serious adversity; I’m confident he will fit in well and further supplement our culture.
“I would like to thank the supporters, Squadbuilder, our sponsors, the Knights board and Craig Harrison - Ben’s agent - for helping to make this exciting move a reality.”