Woods extends his stay with Newcastle Thunder

Josh Woods will remain a Newcastle Thunder player until at least the end of the 2023 Rugby League season, with the club confirming a new deal for the former Wigan halfback.

Joining on a two-year deal at the start of the 2021 season, Woods featured in all but two of Thunder’s matches.

The club’s leading points scorer for the campaign, with three tries and 41 goals, Woods firmly established himself as a key figure in the squad and a player Thunder were eager to secure for longer.

Coming through the junior ranks at Leigh East before graduating through Wigan Warriors’ Academy, Woods made his first-team debut for the Cherry and Whites in 2017 and played 13 first-team games for them in the top-flight.

Having played almost 50 Betfred Championship matches whilst on loan to Swinton Lions and Leigh Centurions before arriving on Tyneside, his knowledge of the Championship was evident as Thunder remained in the competition for 2022.

With his services now secured for the next two seasons, Woods is set to remain as one of Thunder’s key on-field conductors and is excited about the challenges to come.

Woods said: “I’m buzzing because Thunder is a good place to be. We hit our goal last year and stayed up, even if we weren’t happy with what we produced sometimes, but we’re going to build on that.

“Hopefully, we’re going to push for the top six and top end of the Championship. With the signings we’ve made there’s no reason we can’t do that. We’re a growing club, that is growing in the city and it’s a great place to be.

Reflecting on Thunder’s new, full-time status Woods added: “There’s nothing better than being full time to come in every day and work with your mates, working hard, having a laugh and doing the thing you love. Hopefully we can go some good places this year and next.”

Thunder coach Eamon O’ Carroll said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to extend Woodsy’s stay with us. We already had him for 2022 but it’s a measure of how important he is that we looked to add another year onto that.

“He was exactly what we hoped he would be last year, someone who could get us around the park and who had a good goal kicking rate. Some of the plays he worked with the ball in hand were excellent too and I can’t wait to see more of that next season.

“Josh is only 23 so has the prime of his career still to come and I’m looking forward to that being with Thunder.”

Woods joins Jake Anderson, Jay Chapelhow, Ted Chapelhow, Alex Donaghy, Brad Day, Josh Eaves, Alex Foster, Tom Minns, Craig Mullen, Ukuma Ta’ai and Kyle Trout as confirmed members of Thunder’s squad,