Hunslet RLFC are delighted to announce the signing of Josh Tonks and Ryan Wright from Betfred League 1 rivals Keighley Cougars as well as the capture of former winger Gavin Duffy.
Tonks 26, is a powerful second rower with an eye for the try line. ‘Tonka’ has made 13 appearances as Captain of Keighley in 2018 scoring 6 tries. He has scored a total of 13 tries in 33 appearances during his two year spell at Cougar Park.
Josh arrived at Cougar Park from York City Knights in November 2016 and was made captain of the Cougars by Craig Lingard at the start for the 2018 season. During his three years at the Knights, where he worked with current Head Coach Gary Thornton, Tonks made 57 appearances and crossed the line for 18 tries helping the Knights to the 2014 League One Leaders Shield.
Tonks has also had a successful 5 year spell at Dewsbury Rams making 71 appearances. He also played a major pat in the the Rams ‘invicibles season’ in 2009 when they were crowned Championship One Champions after going the entire domestic league season undefeated.
Gary Thornton was delighted to bring Tonka on board “Josh has tons of League 1 & Championship experience, and is renowned as a tough, hard running, hard hitting back rower.
“He will add some real steel to our pack defensively, and give us some attacking options out wide.
“He has always impressed in opposition colours, so I am really pleased he will be in our ranks for the remainder of the season.
“I have always admired his style of play, and tried to sign him on numerous occasions, so to finally get him on board amid opposition from other clubs is a huge boost for us.”
Wright is a 26 year old dynamic hooker who arrives at the South Leeds Stadium from Cougar Park where he made 12 appearances, scoring 2 tries during the current campaign.
Ryan previously had 18 months at the Keepmoat Stadium, where he made 39 appearances for the South Yorkshire outfit, scoring 3 tries under the guidance of Gary Thornton.
He began his career with Leeds Rhinos before moving onto Wakefield Trinity and coming through the academy system at the Beaumont Legal Stadium before moving to the Dewsbury Rams ahead of the 2013 season as one of Glenn Morrison’s first signings for the club.
During what would be his first spell at the Tetley’s Stadium, the hooker made 29 appearances for the Rams in which time he scored 2 tries.
Gary Thornton was equally pleased to capture Ryan “Ryan is a proven quality hooker and another with lots of experience at League 1 & Championship level.
“I have coached him before at Doncaster, so I know the qualities he will bring to the group.
“He will add craft and skill from dummy half, and he’s a tough defender too with high energy and fitness levels that will complement our existing squad.
“He has a great attitude to training and playing and is a knowledgeable hooker who reads the game really well.
Former winger Gavin Duffy has signed with the club until the end of the season.
GT commented “Gavin has been out of the game for a while due to work commitments, but has a good reputation as a quality winger.
“When he contacted us about his availability, I was more than happy to bring him in as we have been a bit light in that department with the injuries to Niall Walker and Tommy Brierley.
“Gavin is a hard working winger who will get us on the font foot and will bag his fair share of tries too.
“I know he is familiar to you fans and I’m sure you’ll welcome him back into the fold.
“These are 3 fantastic signings for us at a critical part of the season, and hopefully they will integrate into our existing squad, and help us consolidate our place in the top 5.”
The club can also confirm that Leeds Rhinos have agreed to extend the loan of Josh Jordan-Roberts for a further month.