Nathan Wilde signs new Thunder deal

Nathan Wilde has signed a new one-year contract with Newcastle Thunder.

Arriving at Kingston Park Stadium for the club’s return to the second tier, Wilde, 21, made an immediate impression with his pre-season effort and was rewarded with the number eight on the club’s 2021 squad list.

Seizing the opportunities afford to him by Denis Betts and Eamon O’Carroll, Wilde featured in all but three of Thunder’s 2021 fixtures, making 18 appearances and scoring one try.

Spending six years with Wigan Warriors before arriving at Kingston Park Stadium, Wilde was part of the Under-19s set-up was a table topping and Grand Final winning force in the Super League Academy competition.

Wilde is now hoping to build on his breakthrough campaign and continue to drive both his career and the development of the club forward.

Wilde said: “It was great first year, when I signed; I didn’t expect to get as much game time as I did, so to cement a starting spot last season, I just want to kick on from that and enjoy my time with the club.

“There were some long minutes in there but its what I enjoy, playing and getting stuck in so I adapted to that and it felt like I did it well.

“I want to improve certain parts of my game that Freddy and Denis have spoken about, keep the starting spot and continue enjoying my rugby.

“It’s my first full-time pre-season, which is exciting itself and hopefully it all goes well, I can kick on and everyone can see the difference.”

Head coach Eamon O’ Carroll said: “It’s a great challenge for Nathan this year. I had a great chat with him before we came in for pre-season as obviously, he is aware that we have strengthened in that area, but he was my young player of the year last year and I love everything about him.

“Wildey has so much courage and works really hard, there were times last year when I had to leave him out there for big minutes. He was playing 70-odd minutes every game and he never gave in.

“For someone who had only ever played academy and come up into the championship and in the circumstances that it was done with us jumping up when he was signed for League 1

“He is going to develop so much in a full-time environment and you can tell he is loving it.”

Wilde is the 21st member for the club’s squad to be announced and joins Jake Anderson, Connor Bailey, Gideon Boafo, Jay Chapelhow, Ted Chapelhow, Mitch Clark, Alex Donaghy, Brad Day, Jesse Dee, Josh Eaves, Alex Foster, Brad Gallagher, Sam Hallas, Jack Johnson, Tom Minns, Pat Moran, Craig Mullen, Jake Shorrocks, Ukuma Ta’ai and Josh Woods as confirmed members of Thunder’s 2022 squad.