Wakefield Trinity's Ryan Atkins to join York City Knights
Veteran player Atkins has been one of Super League’s best centres over the last decade, making his debut with Trinity in 2006 before moving to Warrington Wolves in 2010.
He returned to Wakefield on loan at the end of the 2019 season before signing a permanent contract. He has racked up more than 300 top-flight appearances and York head coach James Ford said: “Ryan is a big signing for us and I’m sure the supporters will be excited to watch him impose his physicality on our opponents.
“His track record speaks for itself – but I’m excited to work with someone who 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.
“He’s been around some elite environments and I’m confident he will have a huge impact on us in 2021 and beyond.”
York reached the Championship play-offs in 2019 and the influence of Ford was a big factor in Atkins’s decision to join the Championship club.
“I spoke to him and I could just tell straight away that his passion and hunger for the game was evident,” said Atkins of the York head coach.
“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 and I’ve not been excited for a while.”
Atkins has scored 186 Super League tries, making him the fifth-highest try-scorer in the competition’s history. He is the second Trinity player to agree a deal with York after Danny Kirmond also signed a deal from 2021.