Thornley joins Hull KR

Iain Thornley
Iain Thornley

Hull KR have signed England Knights centre Iain Thornley from Wigan Warriors for 2016.

He joins on a two-year contract at the KC Lightstream Stadium having fallen down the pecking order at Wigan during a difficult couple of seasons with injury.

Thornley, 23, is currently on loan with Salford Red Devils after spending four games on dual-registration with Workington.

However, he was a try-scorer in the Warriors side that defeated Hull FC in the 2013 Challenge Cup final and also lifted the Super League title that season.

“I’m really looking forward to a new challenge with Hull KR and getting back to my best,” he said, having essentially replaced Darrell Goulding in the Rovers squad, his former Wigan team-mate who retired earlier this year due to injury.

“I’m pretty good friends with Daz Goulding and he told me how good a club it is and how good the lads were.

“He settled in really easily and I just fancied a new challenge with Hull KR.

“I wanted to come over there and get back to that form I had before I got injured.

“I feel a lot better now, I’ve ticked all the boxes coming back from injury and I’ve been playing quite a bit on dual-reg’.

“I’ve signed for Salford until the end of the season to get some game time at Super League level and that will do me the world of good.

“ I’ll get some match fitness and then I can come over to Hull tip top and ready for next season.”

Thornley, who has also spent time in rugby union with Sale Sharks and Yorkshire Carnegie, added: ““I know Chris Chester pretty well too and he was keen for me to come over there.

“He thought there was a spot for me in the squad to challenge for and I’m excited about that competition for places.

“I’m only 23 but I’ve played in cup finals, Grand Finals and big play-off matches so hopefully I can bring that experience with me and make a good impression.”

Thornley scored 30 tries in 46 appearances for Wigan and head coach Chester admitted: “Iain will be a fantastic addition to our squad for next year.

“He’s got plenty of experience of playing in big matches considering his age and he will add size, speed and skill to our side from 2016.

“Defensively, he is very good as well and he will add further depth to the squad in the centre and wing positions.

“I’ve spoken to Iain a lot over the last couple of weeks and I know how excited he is by this challenge.

“He’s got international pedigree at youth level and I’ve no doubt he has the potential to really kick on during his time with us as a key member of our side.”