York Knights can confirm our 2023 squad numbers ahead of the new Betfred Championship season.
Long-serving full-back Matty Marsh, who is closing in on 100 York appearances, has retained the number 1 shirt while winger Joe Brown and centre James Glover remain wearing numbers 2 and 3 respectively.
New recruit Jesse Dee has inherited the 4 jersey while fellow off-season signings Jon Luke Kirby and Conor Fitzsimmons have been awarded numbers 8 and 10 respectively by Head Coach Andrew Henderson.
Close-season additions Josh Daley (19), Ukuma Ta’ai (21) and Harry Price (27) have also learnt their Knights squad numbers.
After a breakthrough 2022 season, in which he was nominated for the Betfred Championship Young Player of the Year award, winger AJ Towse has been promoted from 23 to 5.
Half-backs Ata Hingano and Liam Harris, who previously wore 35 and 19 respectively, now hold numbers 6 and 7.
Hooker Will Jubb and back-row pair Chris Clarkson and Jordan Thompson keep the 9, 11 and 13 shirts respectively. Danny Kirmond moves from 17 to 12.
There are also promotions for Myles Harrison (15), Bailey Antrobus (16) and Ronan Michael (17).
The 18 shirt remains placed in loving memory of our York RLFC fans.
York Knights 2023 squad numbers:
Jon Luke Kirby
In loving memory of York fans
Explaining his squad number decision-making process, Head Coach Andrew Henderson said: “I was very honest, open and transparent with the players when I announced the squad numbers to them, as I’ll always aim to be with them.
“They won’t always agree with me, which is fine, but I’ve got to make decisions that I believe are for the greater good of the team.
“I’ve had six weeks to assess the players and I’ve judged it on three things: Attitude, application and availability.
“It’s been a slightly disrupted pre-season as we’ve had players start pre-season then go back to Australia, players not arrive from Australia until January and players out injured.
“But on the whole, the attitude and the application has been good from those that have been in training and those that have been in the rehab group.
“A lot was based on availability and what I’ve been able to see on the training ground.
“The squad numbers reflect who’s been in training and trained to the standards we expect.
“Some of the lower-number players are down to them being injured, so haven’t been as available as we’d have hoped. That’s out of their control and not their fault.
“I can only be as honest as I can. Speaking to the players, I said ‘I’m not taking into account your CV, what you’ve achieved previously in the game or here at York, I’m judging it on the here and now and what you’re willing to do for York Knights.’
“That’s all I could judge it on, from what I’ve assessed in this short period of time. That’s the fairest way.
“In 12 months, the landscape may change because I’ve seen how those guys perform and train consistently over 12 months.
“The squad numbers next year may reflect what I know about them in more detail.
“Coming in as a new Head Coach, having not worked with any of these players before, I had to assess what I’d seen on the training ground, that was the fairest way.”
York Knights begin their 2023 season with a pre-season friendly at last year's Betfred League One Play-Off Finalists Doncaster on Sunday (3pm). For ticket information, click HERE.