Wakefield Trinity's ex-Warrington Wolves and England centre Ryan Atkins joins York City Knights

Former England centre Ryan Atkins has become the latest player to sign for York City Knights from Wakefield Trinity.
Ryan Atkins made his final appearance for York in March's Challenge Cup win over Bradford. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.Ryan Atkins made his final appearance for York in March's Challenge Cup win over Bradford. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Ryan Atkins made his final appearance for York in March's Challenge Cup win over Bradford. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Atkins will play alongside current Trinity club captain Danny Kirmond and youngsters Daniel Barcoe and Harry Dodd at the Betfred Championship side next season.

The Leeds-born 34-year-old made his Super League debut with Wakefield in 2006 and returned towards the end of last term after 10 seasons at Warrington Wolves.

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Super League’s fifth-highest try scorer, with 186, he also played eight times for England, but made only five appearances during his second spell with Trinity and has now left the club.

Knights coach James Ford said: “Ryan is a big signing for us.

“His track record speaks for itself, but I’m excited to work with someone 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.

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

Atkins revealed Ford is one of the reasons he has joined York.

“I spoke to him and I could just tell straight away that his passion and hunger for the game was evident,” Atkins said.

“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.”

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York will move to a new stadium next year and Atkins is also determined to “get us promoted and playing in Super League”.

He added: “That stadium 100 per cent deserves to be in Super League.

“It’s one of the best facilities I’ve had a walk around and that’s even including Super League clubs.

“It’s next level and it’d only be fitting if we got the club promoted and we were playing Super League in there. There’s no excuse why we shouldn’t be pushing to get promoted.”

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