SIGNING – Lightowler signs up

Utility forward Jake Lightowler will join the Newcastle Thunder ranks for the 2020 Betfred League 1 season, after impressing during pre-season training at Kingston Park Stadium.

A 20-year-old product of Stanningley ARLFC, Lightowler joins up with Thunder after moving to the North East to study at Northumbria University, where he has already started to make a strong impression.

Having started to play the game from the age of 10, Lightowler’s first steps as a professional came in a three-year stint with Bradford Bulls as part of the club’s academy setup.

Looking to progress, an approach from Northumbria’s Jason Payne brought the player to the region before his form in their unbeaten start to the season led to training opportunities as part of Thunder’s pre-season preparations.

With high standards in Northumbria training standing him in good stead, Lightowler has suitably impressed Thunder head coach Simon Finnigan to earn an opportunity at Thunder.

Thunder head coach Simon Finnigan said: “We invited Jake down to train with us and he has been excellent since he has been with us. I’ve liked what I’ve seen, I think he will add to us and it made sense to add him to our squad.

“He is an honest, hard-working player, he has thrown everything into training, and I have been impressed.  We have got so games coming up where he needs to transfer that into, but he has earned his chance.”