York Knights are delighted to announce the signing of half-back Nikau Williams from Newcastle Thunder on a two-year-deal, thanks to the support of Squadbuilder!
New Zealander Williams joins York after three seasons in England with Newcastle and Whitehaven, for whom he made 80 appearances combined.
The 23-year-old began his career in the junior set-ups at NRL clubs Canterbury Bulldogs and Melbourne Storm before joining Whitehaven ahead of the 2021 season.
Williams played a key role in the club’s run to the Betfred Championship Play-Offs, making 24 appearances that year. The Cumbrian side’s sixth-placed finish was their highest since 2009.
The half-back was an ever-present in 2022, finishing as Whitehaven’s top points-scorer thanks to nine tries and 47 goals, earning himself a move to Newcastle ahead of last season.
Williams topped Newcastle's points-scoring chart in 2023, scoring 117 points via four tries, 50 goals and one drop-goal in 25 appearances.
Speaking about his switch to the Knights, Williams said: "I'm really excited to have signed for the York Knights and I'm really keen to get stuck into pre-season and rip in with the rest of the boys.
"Coming up against York over the past couple of years, it's clear to how professional the Club is and their visions really suited what I'm looking to achieve in my career.
"I'd like to think of myself as a ball-running half that likes to play off the cuff and I'd like to think I can bring that style to York.
"I'm still young and I'm still learning all the time so hopefully I can bring my best footy to the Knights!"
Head Coach Andrew Henderson said: “I’m really happy to have secured Nikau’s services here at York. Nikau is a player I’ve admired since his move to the UK, having watched him at Whitehaven and Newcastle.
“Nikau is tough, competes hard and has a really good skill-set. He has a good kicking game, is an established goal-kicker, has good skills and he’s a genuine running threat when he takes the line on.
“I’m pleased that Nikau saw that York was the right Club for him and could see that this is where he can develop and play his best rugby league.
“Nikau is another player that has still got a lot of time on his side and I’m really looking forward to working with him and seeing what he can produce in 2024.”
Williams becomes the 20th confirmed squad member for the 2024 season alongside Jesse Dee, AJ Towse, Ata Hingano, Conor Fitzsimmons, Jordan Thompson, James Cunningham, Myles Harrison, Ronan Michael, Jack Teanby, Ukuma Ta'ai, Pauli Pauli, Harry Price, Brenden Santi, Levi Edwards, Oli Field, Will Dagger, Jimmy Keinhorst and Taylor Pemberton.
To watch the full interviews with Nikau Williams and Andrew Henderson, head to the York RLFC YouTube channel by clicking HERE. Watch Nikau Williams in action in 2024 by purchasing a York RLFC Season Ticket! For all information on 2024 Season Tickets, click HERE! #RiseUp | #WeAreYork