Thunder sign former Wakefield Wildcats prop Payne

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GATESHEAD Thunder have signed former Wakefield Trinity Wildcats prop forward Jonathon Payne on loan for the rest of the season.

Payne, 20, joined Castleford Tigers from the Wildcats’ Scholarship and featured in the pre-season friendly against York, but will be allowed to gain experience in Co-operative Championship 1 for the rest of 2011.

Thunder head coach Richard Pell said: “Jonny is very well thought of at Castleford and they believe that he has a big future in the game.”

“As well as being well equipped for the physical side of the game he is also a smart footballer and this is what makes him stand out when playing.”

“He will add another dimension to our game and will lead by example when playing.”

Payne earned the under-20s Most Improved Player of the Year award at Castleford last season.

Thunder director of rugby Chris Hood added: “We would like to thank Richard Wright, Terry Matterson, Steve Gill, Richard Tunningley and the Castleford Tigers for their support and assistance in this deal.”

Read this week’s Wakefield Express for more news from the Wakefield Wildcats.