York City Knights have announced the signing of Jamie Ellis from Leigh Centurions on a one-year deal, thanks to the help of the club’s Squad Builder scheme.
Ellis has played a key role in several Betfred Championship promotion and title-winning teams, namely with Hull Kingston Rovers and Leigh Centurions and a decade ago won the Championship Player and Young Player of the Year awards during his time with the latter.
The half-back spent the 2021 campaign with Leigh Centurions in his second spell with the club and, earlier this campaign, spent a fortnight on loan with the Knights. Ellis has also spent time with Betfred Super League clubs Hull FC, Castleford Tigers, Huddersfield Giants as well as the Robins, having started his rugby league journey with St Helens.
This season, Ellis has made eight Super League appearances for the Centurions, scoring one try against Wigan in May, and has made almost 200 career appearances with over a century of those coming in the top flight.
Capable of goal-kicking and guiding a team around the pitch, Ellis is the first half-back signed for 2022 and is keen to help the Knights to a successful year.
On his signing, Knights Head Coach James Ford: “I’m absolutely delighted to get this deal sealed for Jamie. I really enjoyed working with him in the brief time we had him this year and I’m positive he will have a huge impact on us moving forwards.
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“He’s a very intelligent rugby league player with a great kicking game and his ability to change tempo in shape and structure is excellent.”
Half-back Ellis said: “I spent that two weeks there and it was a breath of fresh air for me. York are a good club and things look like they are going in the right direction with the stadium and the setup.
“Fordy, as well, he’s a great coach. Even after leaving, I’ve spoken to him quite a lot and watched the York games. I’ve given him my thoughts on what I’ve seen and I feel this is an exciting club to be at.
“We get on really well and I feel that you need a good relationship, especially as a half-back, with your coach and I have that with him.
Ellis also highlighted that, after his spell with the Knights, the club left a lasting impression on him.
“Since leaving the club earlier this year, I’ve been watching out for the results and everything because I was so engrossed in the club. I really enjoyed my time with the Knights earlier this season and I’m looking forward to getting started.
Discussing joining the club, Ellis highlighted his ambition and striving to be the best he can be for the Knights in 2022.
“I’ve got loads of ambition. It’s a part-time club but I’m not going to be getting a job, I’m going to solely focus on rugby. My fiancée really wants me to go for it so I’m going to be like a full-time player in a part-time environment so I’m going to get myself into the best shape I can and really go for it.”
Discussing the help of Squad Builder, which has already helped secure the retention of Matty Marsh for next season, in recruiting Ellis, Knights Chairman Jon Flatman said: “The help of Squad Builder is huge for the club and the make-up of our squad.
“The hard work of all involved and those who donate mustn’t be underestimated and we are delighted that, with their help, we have been able to secure a player of Jamie’s calibre.
“We’re pleased to have the support of such a dedicated group and we look forward to making more 2022 squad announcements with the help of Squad Builder in the coming weeks.”